Bare Fruit: The Next Best Thing to Fresh Fruit

10 Apr

Bare Fruit: The Next Best Thing to Fresh Fruit

It’s better to eat your fruit than to drink it. And it’s usually better to eat fresh fruit than canned or dried fruit.

But Bare Fruit Crunchy Apple Chips throws this recommendation on its head…because these dried fruit chips are actually as good for you as real, whole apples.

Whereas most apple chips (and most dried fruit in fact) include a ton of added sugar – these guys are just what they say: bare fruit.

You may have seen the Bare Fruit Crunchy Fuji Red Apple Chips recently at Costco. At first glance, I thought $7 for a bag of dried fruit and sugar?

But upon closer inspection, these snacks are the real deal. The ingredient list is incredibly clean. And short: Organic Fuji Apples.

As always, the proof is in the nutrition facts panel – a 1/2 cup serving of chips has 90 calories and 4 grams of dietary fiber.

Surprise: that’s EXACTLY what a medium-sized apple has.

The Bare Fruit Apple Chips are crunchy, tasty, and give you the satisfaction of a snack chip, with the real fiber of a fresh fruit.

So next time you need a convenient, fresh snack on the go, I say grab some Bare Fruit Apple Chips. You can find them at your local retailer, or check out the Bare Store Finder online here.

Cheat Death the 7-a-Day Way

2 Apr

Cheat Death the 7-a-Day Way

If you are what you eat, it looks like 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day makes you 42% less likely to die than just eating 1 serving per day.

…Or at least so says a new study published this week in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The study used the Health Study for England data consisting of over 65,000 subjects studied between 2001-2013, and found that vegetables have significantly higher health benefits than fruits.

Compared to eating less than 1 portion of fruits or vegetables per day:

  • Eating 1-3 portions per day cuts risk of death by 14%
  • Eating 3-5 portions per day cuts risk of death by 29%
  • Eating 5-7 portions per day cuts risk of death by 36%
  • Eating >7 portions per day cuts risk of death by 42%

When it comes to types of fruits and vegetables: it’s better to eat your fruit than drink it, as there was no significant benefit from drinking fruit juice.

Fresh is better than canned or frozen, as canned/frozen fruit intake was found to be associated with an increased risk of death of 17% per portion consumed (due to added sugar content.)

Considering that the average portion of fruit or vegetable contains 3-4 grams of fiber per serving, eating 7 portions per day can net you 21-28 grams of fiber, which is nearing 100% of your daily fiber needs.

So go on and cheat death…because when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, the more really is the merrier.


La Tour Whole Grain Puffs

1 Apr

La Tour Whole Grain Puffs

If you find yourself hungry in the Hawaiian Isles, check out La Tour Bakehouse, an artisan bakery located in Honolulu’s historic Chinatown.

While owner Thanh Lam and his crew churn out some amazing French bread, they have also expanded into packaged snacks, including a line of Whole Grain Puffs.

I recently had a chance to sample the honey glazed sunflower, flax, and sesame flavor puffs, which are available at Oahu farmer’s markets and retail outlets like Longs, Foodland, and Safeway.

These whole grain puffs pack a flavor punch! They’re light and crunchy, and slightly sweet. The texture is similar to a puffed cereal, but the seeds and grains add a heartier taste.

A one ounce serving has 120 calories, 6 grams fat and 3 grams dietary fiber. These are a great, high fiber addition to any afternoon snack, whether you can be at the beach or not!


Dole Pineapple Plantation

31 Mar

Dole Pineapple Plantation

The Fiber Blog is on Spring Break in Hawaii this week, and yesterday I had the opportunity to tour the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa on Oahu.

Now I knew pineapples were a fiber friendly fruit, but I didn’t know just how prolific the Hawaii operation really was to global pineapple distribution.

At the ripe old age of 21, James Dole arrived in Hawaii with $1,500 and a Harvard degree in agriculture. He bought 61 acres of land and experimented with various crops, growing increasingly frustrated with the unforgiving nature of the harsh red dirt of the Hawaiian Islands. Eventually though, he struck gold with pineapple.

Dole revolutionized pineapple distribution through his company’s proliferation of canned pineapple. The iconic American recipe for pineapple upside down cake was the product of a canned pineapple recipe contest sponsored by Dole in 1925, drawing over 60,000 entrants. He purchased the island of Lana’i in 1922, and for over 70 years, Lana’i provided more than 75% of the world’s pineapples.

From a nutritional standpoint, pineapple is pure platinum: 1 cup of pineapple chunks has 80 calories, 2.3 grams of dietary fiber and more than 100% of your daily value for vitamin C.

Even if you don’t have fresh pineapple readily available in your neck of the woods, don’t forget about canned pineapple – making sure to pick up the type that is packed in its own juice, as opposed to sugary syrups.

What’s the Story with Sprouted Grains?

11 Mar

What’s the Story with Sprouted Grains?

March is National Nutrition Month…where Super Foods take the stage.

And this year, it seems, sprouted grains are all the rage.

But what exactly is a sprouted grain? And why are they considered more healthful than traditional grains?

Shoots & Sprouts

Sprouting the seed of grains, nuts, and beans, can help unlock valuable nutrition. When the sprout takes shape, it deactivates certain enzymes that block nutrient absorption. Reducing these “anti-nutrients” (compounds like phytates and lectins) helps make more micronutrients and fiber available.

Other nutritional benefits of sprouted grains include:

  • Increased micronutrients such as B vitamins including folate, and vitamin C, plus fiber, and essential fatty acids
  • Improved digestibility – some people find sprouted grain easier to tolerate if traditional grains cause bloating or GI discomfort
  • Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic for those who have certain grain-based sensitivities
  • Higher content of certain antioxidants than non-sprouted grains

To learn more about sprouted whole grain nutrition, check out this article from the Whole Grains Council.

How to Sprout

If you’re looking to get more sprouted grains in your diet, here’s some tips:

At Home

You can sprout grains at home easily with some mason jars, water, and a few days’ worth of patience. Here is a great article from Vegetarian Times about sprouting and estimated soaking and sprouting times.

In Snacks

Way Better Snacks has an array of sprouted grains snack foods that include unique ingredients such as sprouted quinoa, and broccoli and daikon radish seeds.

Thanks to samples provided by Way Better, I recently sampled their Simply Sunny Multi-Grain Tortilla Chips. Not only are these chips packed full of flavor, they are GMO-free, gluten free and contain an impressive 3 grams of fiber per serving. If you’re looking for a convenient way to get your sprouted grains, Way Better is the way to go!

Bake With Sprouted Flour

Sprouted grain flour can be purchased or made from your own sprouted grains. Whole Foods Market carries a number of sprouted whole grain flours, and most can be substituted one-to-one for all-purpose flour in recipes.

If you’re not a baker but like bread, try out some of the commercially available sprouted grain bagels, whole grain breads, and tortillas available at certain health food stores. Look for sprouted grain bread products in the refrigerated aisle.

Safety First

Incorporating sprouted grains into your diet can enhance health and expand your whole grain horizons; however, raw sprouts and raw sprouted grains should be avoided by high risk populations such as pregnant women, infants, and people with compromised immune systems. To learn more about sprouts & sprouted grain food safety, click here.

And for a little more sprouted grain love – check out my segment on the topic from yesterday here.