New Complete Book of Food: A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide / Edition 1

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Overview

In The New Complete Book of Food, noted nutrition author Carol Ann Rinzler explores the medical and physical benefits of the natural chemicals found in food, giving readers a new way of looking at what they eat. She takes a close look at the dangers of various types of foods and describes how foods change when they are processed or cooked. More than 200 separate foods are presented in an A-to-Z format. Each entry includes:
An easy-to-read nutritional profile of basic components, vitamins, and minerals
How to buy, store, and prepare foods
Medical uses and/or benefits
Dietary restrictions, possible adverse effects, and food and drug interactions.

"...introduces basic foods and breaks down their nutrients...explains how foods may be best prepared to take advantage of their natural health benefits...arranged alphabetically."

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Nutrition expert Rinzler explores the medical and physical benefits of the natural elements of food, offering readers a new way of looking at what they eat. Entries on about 200 foods contain a nutritional profile of basic components, vitamins, and minerals and discussion of how to buy, store, handle, and prepare foods in order to maximize their nutritional value; medical uses and/or benefits of foods; dietary restrictions; and food and drug interactions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Taste for Life Magazine
Equally appropriate for a young person just starting out in the kitchen or anyone embarking on a new way of eating. . . . This is the food encyclopedia anyone can enjoy learning from!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816039876
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


Apples


Nutritional Profile


Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: Low

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: High

Sodium: Low (fresh or dried fruit) High (dried fruit treated with sodium sulfur compounds)

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C

Major mineral contribution: Potassium


About the Nutrients in This Food


Apples are a high-fiber fruit with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the peel and soluble pectins in the flesh. Their most important vitamin is vitamin C.

    One fresh apple, 2 1/2 inches in diameter, eaten with the skin, has 3 g dietary fiber and 8 mg vitamin C (13 percent of the RDA).

    The sour taste of all immature apples (and some varieties, even when ripe) comes from malic acid. As an apple ripens, the amount of malic acid declines and the apple becomes sweeter.

    Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a naturally occurring cyanide/sugar compound that degrades into hydrogen cyanide. While accidentally swallowing an apple seed once in a while is not a serious hazard for an adult, cases of human poisoning after eating apple seeds have been reported, and swallowing only a few seeds may be lethal for a child.


The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food


Fresh and unpared, to take advantage of the fiber in the peel and preserve the vitamin C, whichis destroyed by the heat of cooking.


Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food


Antiflatulence diet (raw apples.) Low-fiber diet


Buying This Food


Look for: Apples that are firm and brightly colored: shiny red Macintosh, Rome, and red Delicious; clear green Granny Smith; golden yellow Delicious.


Avoid: Bruised apples. When an apple is damaged the injured cells release polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that hastens the oxidation of phenols in the apple, producing brownish pigments that darken the fruit. It's easy to check loose apples; if you buy them packed in a plastic bag, turn the bag upside down and examine the fruit.


Storing This Food


Store apples in the refrigerator. Cool storage keeps them from losing the natural moisture that makes them crisp. It also keeps them from turning brown inside, near the core, a phenomenon that occurs when apples are stored at warm temperatures. Apples can be stored in a cool, dark cabinet with plenty of circulating air.

    Check the apples from time to time. They store well, but the longer the storage, the greater the natural loss of moisture and the more likely the chance that even the crispest apple will begin to taste mealy.


Preparing This Food


Don't peel or slice an apple until you are ready to use it. When you cut into the apple, you tear its cells, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that darkens the fruit. Acid inactivates polyphenoloxidase, so you can slow the browning (but not stop it completely) by dipping raw sliced and/or peeled apples into a solution of lemon juice and water or vinegar and water or by mixing them with citrus fruits in a fruit salad. Polyphenoloxidase also works more slowly in the cold, but storing peeled apples in the refrigerator is much less effective than immersing them in an acid bath.


What Happens When You Cook This Food


When you cook an unpeeled apple, insoluble cellulose and lignin will hold the peel intact through all normal cooking. The flesh of the apple, though, will fall apart as the pectin in its cell walls dissolves and the water inside its cells swells, rupturing the cell walls and turning the apples into applesauce. Commercial bakers keep the apples in their apple pies firm by treating them with calcium; home bakers have to rely on careful timing. To prevent baked apples from melting into mush, core the apple and fill the center with sugar or raisins to absorb the moisture released as the apple cooks. Cutting away a circle of peel at the top will allow the fruit to swell without splitting the skin.

    Red apple skins are colored with red anthocyanin pigments. When an apple is cooked, the anthocyanins combine with sugars to form irreversible brownish compounds.


How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food


Juice. Clear apple juice has been filtered to remove the pulp. Ninety-eight percent of all juices, including apple juices, sold in the United States are pasteurized to stop all natural enzyme action that would otherwise turn sugars to alcohols, eventually producing the mildly alcohol beverage known as apple cider (non alcoholic cider is plain apple juice). Pasteurization also protects juices from potentially harmful bacterial and mold contamination. Following several deaths attributed to unpasteurized apple juices containing E. coli O157:H7, the FDA ruled that all fruit and vegetable juices must carry a warning label telling you whether the juice has been pasteurized. By the end of the year 2000, all juices must be processed to remove or inactivate harmful bacteria.


Drying. To keep apple slices from turning brown as they dry, apples may be treated with sulfur compounds that may cause serious allergic reactions in people allergic to sulfites.


Medical Uses and/or Benefits


As an antidiarrheal. The pectin in apple is a natural antidiarrheal that helps solidify stool. Shaved raw apple is sometimes used as a folk remedy for diarrhea, and purified pectin is an ingredient in many over-the-counter antidiarrheals.


Lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber (pectin) may interfere with the absorption of dietary fats, including cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which this occurs is still unknown, but one theory is that the pectins in the apple may form a gel in your stomach that sops up fats and cholesterol, carrying them out of your body as waste.


Adverse Effects Associated with This Food


Cyanide poisoning. See About the nutrients in this food.

Sulfite allergies (dried apples). See How other kinds of processing affect this food.


Food/Drug Interactions


Digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin). Pectins may bind to the heart medication digoxin, so eating apples at the same time you take the drug may reduce the drug's effectiveness.


Apricots


Nutritional Profile


Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: Moderate

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: High

Sodium: Low (fresh or dried fruit) High (dried fruit treated with sodium sulfur compounds)

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A

Major mineral contribution: Iron


About the Nutrients in This Food


Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the skin and soluble pectins in the flesh. The apricot's creamy golden color comes from deep yellow carotenes (including beta-carotene) that make the fruit a good source of vitamin A. Apricots also have vitamin C and iron.

    Three pitted, medium-fresh apricots have 2 g dietary fiber, 2,770 IU of vitamin A (55 percent of the RDA for a man, 69 percent of the RDA for a woman), 11 mg vitamin C (18 percent of the RDA), and .57 mg iron (4 percent of the RDA for a woman of childbearing age). Ten dried apricot halves provide 1.65 mg iron (16 percent of the RDA).

    The bark, leaves, and inner stony pit of the apricot all contain amygdalin, a naturally occurring compound that degrades to release hydrogen cyanide (prussic acid) in your stomach. Apricot oil, treated during processing to remove the cyanide, is marked FFPA to show that it is "free from prussic acid." Cases of fatal poisoning from apricot pits have been reported, including one in a three-year-old girl who ate 15 apricot kernels (the seed inside the pit). Extract of apricot pits, known medically as Laetrile, has been used by some alternative practitioners to treat cancer on the theory that the cyanide in amygdalin is released only when it comes in contact with beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme common to tumor cells. Scientifically designed tests of amygdalin have not shown this to be true. Laetrile is illegal in the United States.


The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food


Ounce for ounce, dried apricots are richer in nutrients and fiber than fresh ones.


Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food


Low-fiber diet Low-potassium diet Low-sodium diet (dried apricots containing sodium sulfide)


Buying This Food


Look for: Firm, plump orange fruit that gives slightly when you press with your thumb.


Avoid: Bruised apricots. Like apples and potatoes, apricots contain polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that combines with phenols in the apricots to produce brownish pigments that discolor the fruit. When apricots are bruised, cells are broken, releasing the enzyme so that brown spots form under the bruise.

    Avoid apricots that are hard or mushy or withered; all are less flavorsome than ripe, firm apricots, and the withered ones will decay quickly.

    Avoid greenish apricots; they are low in carotenes and will never ripen satisfactorily at home.


Storing This Food


Store ripe apricots in the refrigerator and use them within a few days. Apricots do not lose their vitamin A in storage, but they are very perishable and rot fairly quickly,


Preparing This Food


When you peel or slice an apricot, you tear its cells walls, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that reacts with phenols in the apricots, producing brown compounds that darken the fruit. Acids inactivate polyphenoloxidase, so you can slow down this reaction (but not stop it completely) by dipping raw sliced and/or peeled apricots into a solution of lemon juice or vinegar and water or by mixing them with citrus fruits in a fruit salad. Polyphenoloxidase also works more slowly in the cold, but storing peeled apricots in the refrigerator is much less effective than an acid bath.

    To peel apricots easily, drop them into boiling water for a minute or two, then lift them out with a slotted spoon and plunge them into cold water. As with tomatoes, this works because the change in temperature damages a layer of cells under the skin so the skin slips off easily.


What Happens When You Cook This Food


Cooking dissolves pectin, the primary fiber in apricots, and softens the fruit. But it does not change the color or lower the vitamin A content because carotenes are impervious to the heat of normal cooking.


How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food


Juice. Ninety-eight percent of all juices, including apricot juices, sold in the United States are pasteurized to stop the natural enzyme action that would otherwise turn sugars to alcohols. Pasteurization also protects juices from potentially harmful bacterial and mold contamination. Following several deaths attributed to unpasteurized apple juices containing E. coli O157:H7, the FDA ruled that all fruit and vegetable juices must carry a warning label telling you whether the juice has been pasteurized. By the end of the year 2000, all juices must be processed to remove or inactivate harmful bacteria.


Drying. Five pounds of flesh apricots produce only a pound of dried ones. Drying removes water, not nutrients; ounce for ounce, dried apricots have twelve times the iron, seven times the fiber, and five times the vitamin A of the fresh fruit. Three and a half ounces of dried apricots provide 12,700 IU vitamin A, two and a half times the full daily requirement for a healthy adult man, and 6.3 mg of iron, one-third the daily requirement for an adult woman. In some studies with laboratory amimals, dried apricots have been as effective as liver, kidneys, and eggs in treating iron-deficiency anemia.

    To keep them from turning brown as they dry, apricots may be treated with sulfur dioxide. This chemical may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock, in people who are sensitive to sulfites.


Medical Uses and/or Benefits


Lowering the risk of some cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, apricots and other foods rich in beta-carotene may lower the risk of cancers of the larynx, esophagus, and lungs. Although this remains unproven, the ACS recommends adding these foods to your diet. There is no such benefit from beta-carotene supplements. On the contrary, one controversial study actually showed a higher rate of lung cancer among smokers taking the supplement.


Adverse Effects Associated with This Food


Sulfite allergies. See How other kinds of processing affect this food.


Food/Drug Interactions


***


Artichoke, Globe


Nutritional Profile


Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: Moderate

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: Low

Sodium: Moderate to high

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C

Major mineral contribution: Potassium


About the Nutrients in This Food


Globe artichokes are prickly plants with partly edible leaves enclosing a tasty "heart." Their most important nutrients are vitamin C and iron. One medium size (10 ounce) cooked globe artichoke has 12 mg vitamin C (20 percent of the RDA) and 1.5 mg iron (about 15 percent of the RDA).

    Raw globe artichokes contain an enzyme that interferes with protein digestion; cooking inactivates the enzyme.


The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food


Cooked.


Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food


***


Buying This Food


Look for: Compact vegetables, heavy for their size. The leaves should be tightly closed, but the color changes with the season—bright green in the spring, olive green or bronze in the winter if they have been exposed to frost.


Avoid: Artichokes with yellowed leaves, which indicate the artichoke is aging (the chlorophyll in its leaves has faded so the yellow carotenes underneath show through).


Storing This Food


Do refrigerate fresh globe artichokes in plastic bags. Do refrigerate cooked globe artichokes in a covered container if you plan to hold them longer than a day or two.


Preparing This Food


Cut off the stem. Trim the tough outer leaves. Then plunge the artichoke, upside down, into a bowl of cold water to flush out debris. To remove the core, put the artichoke upside down on a cutting board and cut out the center. Slicing into the base of the artichoke rips cell walls and releases polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that converts phenols in the vegetable to brown compounds that darken the "heart" of the globe. To slow the reaction, paint the cut surface with a solution of lemon juice or vinegar and water.


What Happens When You Cook This Food


Chlorophyll, the green plant pigment, is sensitive to acids. When you heat a globe artichoke, the chlorophyll in its green leaves reacts with acids in the artichoke or in the cooking water, forming brown pheophytin. The pheophytin, plus yellow carotenes in the leaves, can turn a cooked artichoke's leaves bronze. To prevent this reaction, cook the artichoke very quickly so there is no time for the chlorophyll to react with the acid, or cook it in lots of water to dilute the acids, or cook it with the lid off the pot so that the volatile acids can float off into the air.


How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food


Canning. Globe artichoke hearts packed in brine are higher in sodium than fresh artichokes. Artichoke hearts packed in oil are much higher in fat.


Freezing. Frozen artichoke hearts are comparable in nutritional value to fresh ones.


Medical Uses and/or Benefits


***


Adverse Effects Associated with This Food


Contact dermatitis. Globe artichokes contain essential oils that may cause contact dermatitis in sensitive people.


Alterations in the sense of taste. Globe artichokes contain cynarin, a sweet tasting chemical that dissolves in water (including the saliva in your mouth) to sweeten the flavor of anything you eat next.


Food/Drug Interactions


False-positive test for occult blood in the stool. The guaiac slide test for hidden blood in feces relies on alphaguaiaconic acid, a chemical that turns blue in the presence of blood. Artichokes contain peroxidase, a natural chemical that also turns alphaguaiaconic acid blue and may produce a positive test in people who do not have blood in the stool.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Jane E. Brody ix
Foreword by Michael D. Jensen, M.D xi
Preface xiii
Note to the Reader xvii
Entries A-Z 1
Appendix 409
Bibliography/Sources 415
Index 429
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