This is an index of the health notes included in recipes. These short tidbits of information can help answer questions on everything from Omega-3 Fats in fish to whether to cook chicken with the skin on or not. Want to know about garlic and cholesterol? Is it okay to eat eggs or not? It's all here.
A very well designed study by a group of Canadian researchers showed that the lycopenes found in tomato products are absorbed as well as those in prepared lycopene supplements. It appears that in the case of cooked tomatoes (as with spaghetti sauce) the absorption is better than with raw tomatoes.
More importantly, the study showed that the lycopenes kept the LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidizing. It is the oxidized form of LDL cholesterol that researchers feel is the most damaging and will promote the clogging of coronary arteries. Lycopenes are only one of the many anti-oxidants that are being studied.
There has not been any documentation that eating more lycopene-rich foods will prevent heart disease but hmmm... let's see... eat more tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes? Low in calories and fat and high in stuff that's great for you and still tastes great... You betcha. Read More "The Health of It All..." Articles
What are Antioxidants?
When the cells in your body use oxygen, the interaction with other molecules results in their oxidation. The by-product of that oxidation is free radicals -- molecules or atoms that lose one or more electrons. Free radicals are unstable, and in a sense, are looking to replace or give up their unbalanced number of electrons. In scavenging for electrons, they cause damage to cells in the body.
Tomatoes, Olive Oil, and Heart Disease
The Mediterranean Diet has been shown to protect against heart disease, but just why it does so isn't quite clear. Its effects have been credited to a variety of foods in the typical Mediterranean Diet, including components of the fruits and vegetables and the red wine. The effects have also been credited to tomatoes and tomato products, which are an important source of lycopenes. Similarly, olive oil's monounsaturated fats have often been credited with heart-protective qualities.