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Fat Rice: Fat Rice Provides an Escape From the Norm in Chicago

Fat Rice: Fat Rice Provides an Escape From the Norm in Chicago


Fat Rice Provides an Escape From the Norm in Chicago

Despite restaurants opening in Chicago at the rate of a cheetah chasing a gazelle, not many are unique enough to really wow me. Sure, I'll be content and even excited about a meal at a new spot, but more often than not, foods just tend to blur together from menu to menu. This is not the case at Fat Rice, a tiny restaurant with bold enough flavors and a distinct enough concept to set it worlds apart.

Specializing in the old-world cuisines of Southeast Asia, Fat Rice features an enlightening and unique menu that feels more like a food safari than dinner. I recognized most of the ingredients on the menu, but not in the ways they were presented. I love peanuts, but have never experienced them quite like those umami-packed pickled peanuts. I love potstickers, but I've never seen them cooked in a thin crepe-like batter, which forms a cracker-y crust. And of course, I love noodles in any and all forms (the chewier the better), and the rolled bundles of thick chee cheong fun were revelatory, with a texture akin to noodle marshmallows.

Dessert was perhaps the wildest of all. What our server described as a kind of banana pudding turned out to be a tropical trifle of guava, sweet cream, bananas, and cookie crumbs, packed with more flavor than I could imagine fitting in such a stocky glass. Then there's the rice crisp, which is basically a "Fat Rice Krispie Treat," made with nori, sesame, and pork floss, served with a side of warm caramel sauce for dipping. It's not every day you chew a Rice Krispie treat with threads of dried pork skin and torn shards of seaweed. But against all my presumptions, the rice crisp was my favorite dish of the night, amidst of plethora of other show-stoppers.

Fat Rice: defying expectations and creating experiences for all.


Why a calorie isn't just a calorie

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Count the calories. Watch the carbs. No, just the fat. Actually, pay attention to the protein instead. Scratch that. Go back to what we said before. Just count the calories.

Back in ancient times, say the 1950s, dieting advice was almost universally limited to slashing calories. Our mothers bought countertop scales and booklets listing the calories in common foods with nary a mention of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate content, or grams of protein.

Then, in the 1970s, the diet docs shifted our attention away from calories and promoted what were perceived to be more effective ways to lose weight by using the body's natural metabolic habits to burn our excess fat. Eating foods without carbohydrates, skipping animal fats, adding more protein, or consuming only "good" fats would lead us to leaner times.

Now, with a more recent, expansive two-year study of weight loss methods, the advice has come full circle: just count the calories. And on the heels of the results come experts who don't agree.

If you consider that a vegetable stir-fry with brown rice contains the same number of calories as a slice of lemon-meringue pie (around 350 apiece), does it matter if you skip the healthy meal and go straight to dessert? Or if you choose two apples over a Hostess Twinkie for a little 150-calorie pick-me-up, are you really better off? Some experts say that a calorie from fruit is essentially a "better" calorie than one from the carbohydrates in processed sugar and flour, not only because the fruit contains a variety of nutrients, but also because the volume and fiber of fruit will keep hunger at bay.

The study in question was conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital as well as the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana over two years with results published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February. It was considered an improvement over past diet studies because it was longer - many studies are conducted for just six or 12 months - and involved more than 800 participants, including a larger percentage of male dieters than is the norm.

There was no meaningful difference in weight loss among the participants, no matter which of four diets they were assigned to follow. The diets were based on nutritious foods with similar calories, but the ratio of fat, carbohydrates, and protein in the diets varied by group. The study's results, its authors note, prove that people should pick a diet they can stick with rather than take a one-size-fits-all weight loss approach.

"I'm not convinced that we know that a calorie is just a calorie," says Barbara J. Rolls, professor and Guthrie Chair of Nutrition at Penn State University. She and others in the diet field believe the study was too narrow in focus, sending mixed signals to do-it-yourself dieters.

Rolls and others note that while the study was published this year, it was actually designed many years ago amidst battles over the effectiveness of high-protein/low-carbohydrate diets such as Atkins and South Beach when compared with more traditional low-fat diets.

In the interim, numerous studies have been done on more effective ways to lose weight that focus on the regulation of hunger - a dieter's greatest obstacle - which can vary dramatically by the type of fat or carb in a food, the water and fiber content of what we eat, and possibly the timing and spacing of meals throughout the day. What triggers hunger signals to the brain is a lot more complex than the calorie counts in the foods we eat.

"I think the field has moved beyond thinking about macronutrients" - the primary sources of calories, namely carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, says Rolls, author of "The Volumetrics Eating Plan." Alcohol is considered the fourth micronutrient.

For example, her work focuses on the water content of food. Apples are a better snack choice than Twinkies not because your mother said so, but because fruits and vegetables have a higher water content, or lower energy density, than high-fat, high-sugar foods. Energy density is a measure of the calories per gram of food.

Research shows that people tend to eat about the same weight of food each day, she says in a telephone interview. If you choose water-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, soups, and nonfat milk, you will feel more full with fewer calories for the same weight of food.

Susan Roberts, senior scientist at Tufts University's Energy Metabolism Laboratory, agrees that there is more to the science of losing weight than just counting calories. In addition, she notes, a large number of the dieters who participated in the two-year weight-loss study regained a portion of their lost weight at about the same rate, no matter which diet they tried.

"The real goal is to lose weight and never gain it back. Without doing it in a way that's sustainable is a waste of time," she says.

Roberts has developed a weight-loss plan based on research into the role of fiber in the diet, particularly its effect on hunger. Research at Tufts has shown that people who eat 35 to 45 grams of fiber a day are less hungry when losing weight and lose more weight than those who eat less fiber. The typical American diet contains only about 15 grams of fiber a day. So, for the same number of calories (about 550), you can have salmon, broccoli, lentils, and wine for dinner (about 14 grams of fiber), or two slices of pepperoni pizza (about 2 grams of fiber).

Alicia Hutton of Waltham, who is participating in a study of Roberts's fiber-rich diet plan and hopes to lose 50 pounds, remembers going to Weight Watchers with her mother at the age of 14. It was the beginning of a life of yo-yo dieting. "I would try whatever the latest study said or the latest fad," says Hutton, 35, who has followed the Atkins and South Beach diets, Jenny Craig, and the 5 Day Miracle Diet.

On each one, she was always driven to eat as much food as possible for the lowest number of calories without focusing on how quickly her hunger might return. "Not to pick on Weight Watchers," she says, "but I would eat one of their two-point ice cream bars. Ten minutes later, I'd want another bar."

At age 52, Marcia Schurer decided to take charge of her health and lose the 35 pounds she'd gained when she was in her 40s. With a background in food product development, she channeled her nutrition knowledge and lost the weight she'd gained in just six months, and has managed to keep it all off for four years.

She believes that news accounts of weight-loss studies are often oversimplified and can do more harm than good to those trying to lose weight on their own. "They are really turned into sound bites that make the message sound attractive," she says. She chronicled her experience and weight-loss methods in a book, "FitDelicious," which includes tools to help dieters know more about the foods they eat.

The book provides the nutritional data of foods based on the weight of their components rather than serving size.

For instance, you can quickly compare how sprinkling 3.5 ounces of dried cranberries on your salad instead of the same amount of deli ham will affect your diet. Items that typically go into a sandwich are grouped together, allowing you to glance at the calorie count of a meal you're creating from fresh ingredients.

"Sure, any calorie reduction helps to lose weight. But if you can't sustain that kind of eating pattern, it all comes back," says Schurer, who lives in Chicago. She has saved the packaging and nutrition labels from every food she's eaten in the last three years to study and categorize them. "It's one thing to cut calories. You have to have a good, healthy food plan if you're going to lose weight and keep it from coming back."

So that Twinkie might satisfy the urge the moment you devour it. But a little while later, you may find yourself reaching for another.


Calories: 1660 , Dry Weight: 16.2 oz (103 cals/oz), Protein: 73g, Carbs: 225g, Fat: 52g
Mac & Cheese Entree (12 oz, 1140 cal), Hot Cocoa (1.2 oz, 145 cal), Cookies (3 oz, 375 cal)

This is the granddaddy of hungry thru-hiker meals. It’s cheap, easy to cook, packed full of calories and you can find most of the fixins in convenience stores and gas stations wherever you travel. This is my go-to meal after a long day on the trail when I’m craving comfort food.

Ingredients:

1 box Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
2.6 oz Foil Pouch Tuna (or other shelf-stable meat product)
1 Cheese Stick (cubed)
1 tbsp Whole Milk Powder
1 tbsp Grated Parmesan
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Seasoning: Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning (optional)
Water: 3 cups (24 fl oz)
Hot Drink: 1 pk Hot Cocoa Mix
Dessert: 2 Grandma’s Cookies

Directions:

Bring 3 cups water to boil in pot. Pour 1 cup hot water into mug for cocoa, then return pot to flame. Add macaroni and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover pot with lid and transfer to cozy for 5 minutes, or until noodles are cooked and water is mostly absorbed. Add olive oil, cheese, cheese powder, milk powder, tuna and a splash of water and stir to mix. Season with pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning. Top with grated Parmesan.


DRINK

Coffee Lab & Roasters

The charming Lakeview neighborhood recently celebrated the opening of their newest coffeehouse, Coffee Lab & Roasters. The location is a triumphant follow-up to their popular Evanstown joint known for serving premium locally roasted specialty coffee.

They also offer a premium selection of organic loose-leaf teas, freshly baked pastries delivered daily, and light snacks for a more serious case of the munchies. Jumpstart your day with a cup of their Kono Pour-Over coffee (one of the best in the city) or opt for a classic cappuccino or espresso.

The Drifter

Tucked away in the ritzy River North neighborhood is The Drifter, a 1920s inspired speakeasy that seems timeworn yet polished at the same time. The subterranean cocktail bar is hidden beneath The Green Door Tavern and is celebrated by locals for the creative tipples.

They have a small stage that plays host to a diverse range of live entertainment each night, including musical performances, magic demonstrations, burlesque shows, and more. With no set drinks menu, bartenders instead follow an ever-changing cocktail list presented on tarot cards. Although they don’t accept reservations, it’s absolutely worth swinging by during any visit to Chi-Town.

The Ladies’ Room at Fat Rice

Fat Rice is a local Logan Square staple renowned for their creative focus on Macanese cuisine, which is generally described as a fusion of Chinese and Portuguese ingredients, recipes, and culinary techniques (with additional Southeast Asian influences). While the acclaimed eatery’s unique dishes have been making headlines for years, it’s their inventive cocktail bar, The Ladies’ Room, that’s also deserving of critical acclaim.

The Ladies’ Room delivers a one-of-a-kind drinking experience that combines Midwestern flair with international flavors and ingredients. Aside from the intimate setting, guests especially love their house-made infusions, elixirs, and potions. Order a White Negroni (made with gin, Malort, white vermouth, and wild lemon liquor) or try The Thunderstorm (an amped up take on the classic Dark and Stormy).

Hopleaf Bar

To avoid the throngs of tourists and see a slice of local life, hop in an Uber and head north to Andersonville. One of the North Side’s most colorful neighborhoods, Andersonville is known for its Swedish roots and is also home to one of the city’s largest queer communities.

Since 1992, beer fanatics have flocked to this mom-and-pop district thanks to Hopleaf Bar. The Belgian-inspired bar provides an impressive list of bottled and draft brews in a no-frills, laid-back atmosphere. Expect to find an eclectic array of beer, cider, mead, and wine that’s sure to quench any thirst.

BEATNIK

For one of the best brunches in Chicago, make a beeline for BEATNIK. Opened in 2017, this West Town restaurant is the stuff Instagram dreams are made of. The expansive restaurant offers a whimsical escape, combining lush Bohemian vibes with the over-the-top grandeur of yesteryear. The space is decked out with 15 enormous crystal chandeliers and a collection of worldly curiosities hand picked from far-flung destinations such as Bali, Egypt, and Spain.

Appearances aside, the menu is also just as praiseworthy, featuring an experimental collection of globally inspired plates, pulling from Italy, France, Morocco, Japan, Peru, and more. For brunch, indulge in their Smoked Baba Ghanoush, Shakshuka with Duck Eggs, or Smoked Salmon Toast. And don’t forget to order one of their specialty cocktails to wash it all down (we recommend a My Boy Blue slushie made with a house rum blend, Blue Majik, pineapple, coconut, lime, and bitters).

Pequod’s Pizza

What kind of tourist would you be if you didn’t treat yourself to a slice of Chicago’s world famous pizza? When it comes to finding the city’s best interpretation, locals are quick to rattle off their favorite spots. Some claim Gino’s reigns supreme, while others swear by long-standing staples like Giordano’s or Lou Malnati’s. But for an unexpected twist, pay a visit to Pequod’s Pizza in Lincoln Park.

The pizza wizards at Pequod’s have built a loyal local following that keeps the people coming back for more. Here, hungry patrons line up out the door in search of their doughy pies and crisp, caramelized crusts that deviate slightly from the traditional deep-dish variety. They also serve up thin-crust Chicago-style pizza in addition to other mouth-watering options like buffalo cauliflower, Italian sausage sandwiches, and tricolor tortellini.

Luella’s Gospel Bird

In addition to pizza, Chicago also happens to be a winner when it comes to outstanding fried chicken. And this brand new spot in Bucktown has already built a ton of buzz for itself among the city’s in-the-know foodies. Meet Luella’s Gospel Bird (which, thankfully, is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner).

A spin-off of Lincoln Square’s beloved Luella’s Southern Kitchen, this chicken-centric sequel gets imaginative with its short-but-sweet menu. Their classic Buttermilk Fried Chicken is already a star, but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Try an order of the Smoked Jerk Chicken or opt for The Gospel, which features fried chicken smothered in its namesake tangy Gospel sauce. Pair your meal with a side of Luella’s candied yams or mac and cheese for an unforgettable stick-to-your-ribs lineup.

Bellemore

Chicago’s epicures were outraged when Bellemore was snubbed by the latest Michelin Guide𠅊nd for good reason. The highly anticipated addition to the ever-trendy food-obsessed West Loop neighborhood opened in late 2017 to critical acclaim, with celebrated chef Jimmy Papadopoulos at the helm. To date, it’s still one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten in my life. The brainchild of the Boka Restaurant Group, Bellemore serves up an ingenious menu teeming with 𠇊rtistic American” fare in a relaxed but sophisticated space.

The lofty 6,000-square-foot eatery boasts a sleek aesthetic showcasing brass, wooden, and leather design elements throughout. In other words, it provides the perfect setting to celebrate a special occasion, or simply enjoy a romantic night on the town. As described by Chef Papadopoulos, the menu can be described as 𠇋old, bright, and beautiful.” Look for decadent dishes such as their Venison Tartare (made with cave-aged cheddar, pickled Asian pears, seeded rye, spicy Tokyo turnips, and black lime) Hand-Cut Pappardelle (served with braised lamb, olives, ricotta, and mint) or their Wild Arctic Char (roasted in brown butter with hedgehog mushrooms, Treviso, tamarind, and apples). And trust us when we say you definitely don’t want to miss out on a slice of The Oyster Pie.

Hoxton Chicago

This year will see The Hoxton continue its expansion throughout the United States, with their next opening slated for the Windy City. The iconic hospitality group (owned by Ennismore and headquartered in England) has generated a cult-like following thanks to its open house, design-focused hotels inspired by the characters and neighborhoods that surround each property.

The 182-room outpost is expected to open its doors this spring, straddling the border of the West Loop and Fulton Market neighborhoods. The room design will be reminiscent of the building’s industrial heritage, paying homage through warehouse-style design details. It will also feature a spacious lobby, all-day restaurant, cozy basement piano bar, state-of-the-art fitness center, rooftop eatery, and swimming pool.

The Gwen Hotel

A relatively recent addition to Chicago’s hospitality scene, The Gwen first opened its doors to guests in 2015. Situated just off Michigan Avenue in the heart of downtown, the boutique hotel features an effortlessly cool, art-deco atmosphere reminiscent of Chicago in the 1930’s.

Inspired by the golden era of the city’s grand hotels, The Gwen represents Chicago’s storied past while looking toward the future by introducing all of the luxurious perks a 21st Century traveler expects. Book one of their comfortable guest rooms or sprawling suites with balcony views overlooking the frenetic city below. Or, if you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, opt for an urban glamping experience on the private terrace of the Gwen Lux Suite (only available from May 28 through September 30).

Deer Path Inn

Itching to escape the hustle and bustle of city life? If so, look no further than the award-winning Deer Path Inn. Hidden away on the North Shore in picturesque Lake Forest, the warm and welcoming retreat is just a short drive or train ride from Downtown Chicago, but feels worlds away. Inspired by a 15th Century Tudor manor, the landmark inn traces its roots back to 1929 and has been enchanting guests ever since.

Personalized service, timeless accommodations, and exceptional culinary experiences have made this beloved property a favorite amongst locals and travelers alike. It’s the kind of place where no detail is overlooked. Here, the team of gracious employees is always quick to remember a guest’s name or offer thoughtful recommendations to curious visitors. The English-inspired White Hart Pub is the perfect spot to enjoy a beer and classic tavern specialties like Shepard’s Pie or Bangers and Mash. But for a more refined meal, reserve a space at The English Room to enjoy plates such as Seared Diver Scallops, Scottish Salmon, and Braised Beef Short Rib.


Craving Cauliflower Crunch

On paper, the concept seems brilliant. Cauliflower is a wonderfully meaty and flavorful vegetable, and deep frying is a great way to build flavor, adding a caramelized sweetness and a bit of fat to help make it feel like more of a craveable bar snack. Add to it a nice crunchy batter, toss it in buffalo sauce, and you've got a finger food that even an omnivore should love.

The problem, however, is that most existing recipes for it miss the mark. I think it all comes down to the fact that many folks assume that vegans are health nuts (a phenomenon I have lamented about in the past), when in point of fact, most vegans, just like most omnivores, are perfectly willing to eat deep fried, salty treats—in moderation.

Because of this, most existing recipes make concessions on flavor in favor of health. This version from PETA bakes their 'flower in a soy milk batter, while this one from Clean & Delicious uses a spice rub and no crisp coating at all.

This will never do for my wife. If she's going to indulge, she's going to indulge. I'll see to that.

In attempting to figure out a good frying batter for the cauliflower—I wanted something that was shatteringly crisp and stayed crisp even in sauce, as well as being relatively thin and neutral in flavor so that the sauce and cauliflower really came through—I realized that I already had the obvious solution: Just use the Korean Fried Chicken batter I'd already developed.

The batter is stupid-easy to make. Equal parts cornstarch, flour, water, and vodka, along with a bit of salt and baking soda. The cornstarch cuts the flour to lower the overall protein content of the batter, which ensures that it stays nice and crisp (protein can interconnect, creating tough gluten), while the vodka helps by also limiting gluten formation (gluten doesn't form in alcohol), as well as being more volatile than water, allowing the batter to shed its moisture and crisp up far more rapidly than in a batter made with water alone.

On testing it in real life, it worked marvelously. Mostly. The only issue was with larger pieces of cauliflower, which tended to get soft much faster. The problem is that internal moisture continues to escape in the form of steam as the cauliflower rests, loosening and softening the crisp crust.

I tried double dipping, a common Korean fried chicken technique. Batter the cauliflower once, fry it briefly, pull it out, let it rest, batter it again, and fry until crisp. This worked reasonably well, but the batter coating ended up a little too thick for my taste.

The easiest solution? Just cut the cauliflower smaller. The smaller pieces cook faster, dehydrate a bit more, and steam less than the large ones, allowing them to keep their crunch far longer. 1/2 to 1-inch florets was a reasonable size to aim for.

And hang on a minute. if I'm going with a Korean-style cornstarch crisp coating, why the heck wouldn't I go ahead and make a Korean Fried variation of the same cauliflower? Why not indeed?

I fried off a few more batches, playing around with a couple of additions to the batter. I found that toasted sesame seeds stirred into the mix complemented the flavor of the cauliflower and sweet glaze nicely, while a scoop of unsweetened coconut flakes added even more surface area and texture.

For once, my wife was satisfied with the results. And honey, I promise I'll get those hot sauce stains out of the carpet. Just give me six months.


Abstract

This work studies the influence of the addition of teff flour (5, 10 and 20%) and different dried (buckwheat or rice) or fresh (with Lactobacillus helveticus) sourdoughs on the sensory quality and consumer preference of GF breads. A set of 10 GF breads combining these ingredients was submitted to sensory descriptive analysis performed by a trained panel. The four breads with the most promising sensory profile were evaluated by celiac consumers to look for attributes driving product acceptability.

The combination of teff (10%) with cereal sourdough (rice or buckwheat) enhanced bread aroma, increasing the fruity, cereal and toasty notes. High levels of teff (20%) and Lb. helveticus sourdough induced a decrease on the loaf area. The visual appearance of breads with 20% teff was highly appreciated by consumers, while bread combining 10% teff and rice sourdough was preferred in terms of flavour. The bitter taste of buckwheat sourdough was generally considered as a negative attribute. However, a group of consumers liked bitter bread as they associated it to a traditional, artisan, “malty-like” product. This work highlights the great potential of combining teff and selected sourdoughs to obtain GF breads with target attributes and improved sensory profile.


How to Make Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread: Baking, Cooling, and Storage!

Finally! It’s time to bake! Yay!

It’s important to preheat your oven before you bake your bread. Something magical happens during the first few minutes of bread baking: the yeast goes into a hyperactive phase. As the temperature of the dough rises, the dough rapidly converts sugars (from the starches in the flour) into carbon dioxide. At the same time, the water in the dough turns to steam. This boost of carbon dioxide and steam help the dough to rise. Oven spring can account for an additional 10% rise.

And then…it all stops. When the temperature reaches 120°F, the yeast hits its thermal death point and dies off. No more rise occurs after this point.

Taking the Temperature

I find it difficult to judge exactly when a loaf of bread has baked all the way through. There’s nothing more disappointing than spending time baking a loaf of bread only to find out that the very center of the bread is under baked. Thankfully there’s a simple solution to this problem: take its temperature. Yup, just like you’d do for a turkey at Thanksgiving!

Stick an instant read thermometer into the center of the loaf. Don’t poke the edges of the bread, the temperature is hotter there and won’t tell you if the center has baked.

The bread should reach 210°F or above. This is slightly higher than the temperature for wheat dough but I’ve found that once gluten-free bread hits 210° F, it’s done.

Cooling

When the bread comes out of the oven, it’s done baking, right? Wrong! It’s almost done baking. Carryover baking occurs because the loaf is so hot. How hot? The loaf is steaming hot and it’s this steam that can cause problems for the gluten-free baker. Remember our friend xanthan gum? It loves to suck up water and it doesn’t stop doing this after baking. You want to ensure that the steam can escape from the baked loaf. If it doesn’t, the xanthan gum and starches can “grab” onto it. This leads to a gummy loaf of bread and soft crust.

To prevent a gummy loaf, remove the loaf from the baking pan and place it on a wire rack to cool. If the bread cools in the pan, the steam gets trapped and the loaf gets soggy, especially on the bottom.

Cutting


Fruit Juice

Physique-builders: “Fruit juice can be a great source of vitamin C and other important antioxidants needed to repair oxidative muscle cell damage that occurs during exercise,” says Gidus, who is also a nutritionist for the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Vitamin C also enhances nitric oxide production.

Physique-killers: Never consider juice a snack. Although most 100% juices digest very slowly, the lack of chewing involved when consuming the juice leaves you less satiated and on the hunt for the nearest vending machine. When snacking, choose whole fruit over juice.

Smart play: Choosing 100% juices over sugar-waters labeled “fruit drink” guarantees your body more antioxidants with less added sweet stuff. You could consider exploring your feminine side, as University of Florida (Gainesville) researchers determined that pure pink grapefruit juice contains more nutrients per calorie than other common nectars. Enjoy juice before a workout for slow-digesting carbs that will provide long-lasting energy for your training and won’t interfere with fat-burning. Mix juice with your protein powder, or better yet, choose real fruit for much-needed extra fiber to keep you more regular than Norm’s presence at Cheers.

May we suggest: Tropicana 100% Orange Juice with Fiber (tropicana.com), 1 cup: 120 calories, 2g protein, 29g carbs, 0g fat, 3g fiber.


Barriers to the Adoption of Reduced-Fat Diets in a UK Population

Objective To assess perceived and actual barriers to dietary fat reduction.

Design A 20-week intervention study was carried out to investigate the problems encountered by persons attempting to reduce their fat intake.

Subjects Seventy subjects initially consuming moderately high-fat diets were recruited from the local area by newspaper advertisement. Sixty-one completed the study.

Intervention Subjects were randomized into either a control or an experimental group. Subjects in the experimental group (n=45) received instruction on reducing their intake of fat using current dietary recommendations. All subjects initially completed a questionnaire to assess their beliefs and attitudes regarding selected dietary changes, and the experimental group also completed a similar questionnaire at intervals during the study. Weighed diet records were completed by all subjects throughout the study.

Statistical analysis Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine changes in nutrient intake. Univariate analysis of variance was used to examine differences in barriers encountered by most and least successful fat reducers.

Results Perceived barriers reflected actual problems encountered. One of the most consistently reported problems was that of reduction in taste quality of the diet. Other problems included an increase in cost, decrease in convenience, lack of family support for certain changes, and an inability to judge the fat content of diets.

Applications/conclusions Strategies aimed at improving the taste of low-fat diets, increasing awareness of fat intake, and increasing family support may be most effective in promoting greater adherence to dietary guidelines intended to achieve reductions in fat consumption. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995:95:316-322.


Be picky about ingredients.

Additives, dyes, preservatives, and other ingredients regularly added to foods all have the potential to trigger or aggravate inflammation—particularly if you have a weaker gut barrier—so take a look at the ingredient list on products in your pantry and fridge. Are the ingredients listed what you might use if making the food from a recipe at home? If yes, then this is likely a minimally processed product and a good choice. If not, opt for another brand or substitute when shopping next time.