Heart Food.

first_img No need to go light on those holiday pecans. A UGA study shows they’re better for you than you think. Peanuts and pecans may pack high calories inside their shells, but researchers have uncovered added value that far outweighs the high calorie count.For years, nutritionists have known that peanuts and pecans are high in Vitamin E and folic acid. University of Georgia food scientists have now found that these nuts contain high levels of plant sterols, which lower blood cholesterol levels.”Plant sterols are considered to be significant functional food components,” said Ron Eitenmiller, a food scientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “They aren’t nutrients or vitamins, but they are really potent, effective food constituents.”Eitenmiller said plant sterols compete with the absorption of cholesterol. When eaten in the right quantities, they can reduce serum cholesterol in humans.”Plant sterols are now considered by the medical community and the Food and Drug Administration as another approach to lowering serum cholesterol,” he said. “This has a direct effect on reducing coronary heart disease. And peanuts and pecans are concentrated sources of plant sterols.”High Levels of Plant SterolsPeanuts and pecans contain much higher levels of plant sterols than many other foods. “Peanuts have 150 milligrams per 100 grams. And pecans contain 100 milligrams per 100 grams,” Eitenmiller said. “The amounts are significant when compared to most other foods, which contain much lower sterol levels than nuts.”Eitenmiller and UGA food scientist Phillip Koehler recently completed a study on Vitamin E and folates in peanuts and pecans.Their research was in support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Composition Laboratory, a section of USDA that provides nutritional information on the U.S. food supply. “Our research is providing the USDA with really good, quantitative information,” he said.Vitamin E, Folic AcidVirtually all nuts are high in Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. Pecans contain 25 milligrams per 100 grams. Dry roasted peanuts contain 19 milligrams per 100 grams.Folic acid is needed in forming red blood cells. Lack of folic acid can lead to many deficiency symptoms. Eitenmiller said nuts, as a group, are good sources of folic acid.”All peanut products are good sources of folate,” he said. “Folate is an unstable vitamin that is in relatively short supply in our daily diets.” Besides in nuts, folic acid is in orange juice, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, beans and enriched cereal products. A new study shows peanuts are not only in popular foods, but are good for you. They help lower cholesterol, which helps fight heart disease. Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA-ARScenter_img Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA-ARS “A few years ago, folic acid was linked to neural tube defects in newborns,” Eitenmiller said. “It’s been proven that if mothers don’t get enough folic acid before their pregnancies, it can lead to a higher incidence of this birth defect. This led the FDA to begin enriching flour products with folic acid in 1998.”Eitenmiller and Koehler studied a number of Georgia peanut and pecan varieties from the 1998 and ’99 crops. They compared the levels of Vitamin E and folic acid in pecans, raw peanuts, roasted peanuts and peanuts processed for peanut butter.”We found very little nutritional difference between raw peanuts and processed peanuts,” Eitenmiller said. “And there are no differences in varieties or in geographical growing locations.”Consumption DecliningUntil recently, despite the excellent nutritional qualities of peanuts, consumption has been declining, Eitenmiller said. “One of the basic reasons peanut consumption went down was people’s perception that peanuts are bad for you because of the fat content,” he said.”But the fat itself is very highly polyunsaturated,” he said. “It’s a good mix of fatty acids that are considered to be optimal for good human health. So even the fat content is another advantage of eating nuts.”He said people should work nuts into daily diets in moderation. “We are never going to get away from the fact that pecans are 70 percent fat and peanuts are 45 or more percent fat,” he said. “But from a nutritional standpoint, their fat is much better for you than the fat you get eating a fast-food hamburger.”last_img read more

Trump order targets Chinese internet stars TikTok, WeChat

first_imgTopics : Trump’s order cites a threat to “national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States” in taking aim at the companies.”TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” the order contended.Data from TikTok could potentially be used by China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers on people for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage, the order alleged.The TikTok mobile app has been downloaded some 175 million times in the US and more than a billion times around the world. US President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered sweeping restrictions against Chinese-owned social media stars TikTok and WeChat, which could strangle their ability to operate in the United States.Trump’s executive order, which takes effect in 45 days, bars anyone under US jurisdiction from doing business with TikTok or WeChat’s owners.It heaps pressure on ByteDance, TikTok’s parent, to close negotiations to sell to Microsoft and further escalates the Trump administration’s multi-front confrontation with Beijing.center_img The US Senate voted Thursday to bar TikTok from being downloaded onto US government employees’ telephones, intensifying US scrutiny of the popular Chinese-owned video app.The bill passed by the Republican controlled Senate now goes to the House of Representatives, led by Democrats.Several US agencies already bar employees from downloading TikTok onto their phones.Trump and other officials have argued the app could be used for Chinese espionage, a claim repeatedly denied by TikTok, which does not operate within China.Trump, who has locked horns with China on a range of issues including trade and the coronavirus pandemic, has set a deadline of mid-September for TikTok to be acquired by a US firm or be banned in the United States.Microsoft has expanded its talks on TikTok to a potential deal that would include buying the global operations of the fast-growing video-sharing app, the Financial Times reported Thursday.Microsoft declined to comment on the report, after previously disclosing it was considering a deal for TikTok operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.TikTok’s kaleidoscopic feeds of short video clips feature everything from hair dye tutorials to dance routines and jokes about daily life.The company on Thursday announced plans for its first data center for European users, to be set up in Ireland.WeChat is a messaging, social media, and electronic payment platform owned by TenCent Holdings and is reported to have more than a billion users.Trump’s order contended that WeChat captures user data that could then exploited by the Chinese government but provided no evidence that is happening.”WeChat captures the personal and proprietary information of Chinese nationals visiting the United States,” the order read.”Thereby allowing the Chinese Communist Party a mechanism for keeping tabs on Chinese citizens who may be enjoying the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives.”last_img read more