Category Archives: Cooking

Air Frying: Friend or Foe?

Image of an air fryer with air-fried simosas.

By: Reina Black, CSUN Dietetic Intern Cohort 2021-2023

Fried foods are some of Americans’ favorite foods. Whether it be a crispy French fry, a succulent fried chicken, or a delicious donut, fried foods remain a popular staple in American cuisine. Though these foods taste good, it is well known by many consumers that deep frying foods is not the healthiest cooking method around. The high fat content of deep-fried foods can negatively impact heart health1,2. Thus, it is no coincidence that air fryers have become all the rage over the past few years. Marketed as a healthier alternative to deep frying foods, the demand for air fryers continues to surge. Are air fryers the answer? Let’s take a look at what we know about air frying. 

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Protein Sources and Our Needs 

By: Matthew Nguyen, CSUN Dietetic Intern Cohort 2022-2023 

Protein is the unsung hero of our diets – a nutrient that plays a critical role in our bodies, yet often goes overlooked. From building strong muscles and bones to regulating hormones and aiding in digestion, protein is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. But with so many conflicting opinions and fad diets out there, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to protein. In this blog, we’ll dive deep into the world of protein – exploring what protein is, uncovering how much protein you should be consuming, and dispelling common myths. So, grab a fork and join us on this protein-packed journey! 

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Debunking MSG

Photo of instant ramen and monosodium gllutamate

By: Katherine Lee, CSUN Dietetic Intern Cohort 2021-2023

Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is something we have all heard of and have probably consumed in a soup or snack. Unfortunately, more often than not, the mention of this mysterious additive elicits fear and health concerns. But do we even know why? Do we even know where MSG comes from? We’re here to debunk a couple of common myths surrounding MSG and to solve this mystery about what MSG really is. 

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Cooking At Home

Image: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

By: Nadia Bedrosian, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Cooking at home is an excellent way to save money on food and can be beneficial to your health. When you cook at home you are able to adjust ingredients to meet your taste preferences and health needs.

Still, there can be barriers to cooking at home. Researchers found that university students were found to enjoy cooking and eating with roommates, but felt barriers to cooking included: limited culinary experience, limited access to healthy ingredients, limited finances, and limited time. 1 

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Dandelion Greens: An Urban Delicacy

By: Jason Garvin, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Move over kale, there’s a new powerhouse green in town! Kale has long been the go-to leafy green for healthy eaters, but research shows that the dandelion plant (taraxacum officinale) may pack equal amounts of nutrients.1 The sustainability and weed-like disposition of the dandelion is what makes it an intriguing option as a food source. The dandelion plant grows easily in many climates and can readily be found in urban settings.2 This is no ordinary weed though, nutrient density testing shows high levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, carotenoids, and xanthophylls.1,3 Some other greens still pack more nutrient density than the dandelion, but those plants may not grow with the same ease and likely cannot be harvested from the confines of your front yard!

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Turmeric: The Golden Spice

By Stephanie Ng, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Turmeric is a spice that gives curry its yellow color, and it has been used in Indian traditional medicine for thousands of years1, 2. It comes from the turmeric root, which is related to the ginger family3, so turmeric can have a peppery flavor4. This spice contains the active ingredient, curcumin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant content3,5. It has traditionally been used in Indian medicine to treat inflammatory conditions, cardiovascular health, skin diseases, wounds, and gastrointestinal discomfort2,3,5. In addition, turmeric may reduce body weight, lower triglycerides, increase basal metabolic rate, and improve insulin sensitivity5. Clinical trials have also shown to help alleviate symptoms of joint arthritis1 and improve brain function6. Adding a little bit to your meals may exert health benefits! Continue reading

Oodles of Zoodles

By Stephanie Ng, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Have you tried Zoodles, or also known as zucchini noodles?

Zoodles are made from spiralizing raw zucchini into spaghetti-like strands. Lower in calories, zoodles can be a gluten-free alternative to your traditional spaghetti1. A fresh and lighter version to traditional spaghetti2, zucchini noodles can be different and fun to make. Compared to spaghetti, zucchini noodles contains more vitamin A, C, B, potassium, and fiberand it is lower in calories than traditional spaghetti4. Best of all, increasing your vegetable intake may help lower blood pressure and prevent diabetes5, 6.This is also a great choice to increase your vegetable intake, get the most nutrients and vitamins, and maintain a healthy weight. Not ready to try it yet? Try mixing whole-grain spaghetti with zucchini noodles. Continue reading