Daily Archives: June 27, 2015

  • Vegetables fried in EVOO have more beneficial properties than when boiled

    A new UGR study, published in the prestigious journal Food Chemistry, reveals that vegetables fried in extra virgin olive oil have more beneficial properties than their boiled counterparts.

    The Mediterranean diet in Spain is characterized by a high intake of vegetables and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), both of which are important sources of biofunctional compounds that have been linked to the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases, not only because they contain nutritive antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and ß-carotenes, but also because they contain important amounts of non-nutritive antioxidants such as phenolic compounds. Phenols are found in EVOO and fresh vegetables typically consumed in Spain, such as aubergine, potato, tomato, and pumpkin, all of which have distinctive qualitative and quantitative compositions of phenols.

    It is often thought that when we cook raw vegetables in certain ways and using certain cooking techniques, their antioxidant properties, such as the phenolic compounds, are to some degreelost or destroyed.

    In order to determine whether there was any truth to this assumption, researchers at the UGR set out to test some of the most common ways we cook vegetables that form an integral part of the Mediterranean diet.

    The aim, therefore, was to putdomestic cooking techniques to the test and determine how they affect and/or enhancethe antioxidant qualities and amounts of phenolic compounds found in four fresh vegetables that are representative of the Mediterranean diet, namely; potato, pumpkin, aubergine and tomato.

    Fried, boiled or mixed with water and extra virgin olive oil?

    Three cooking techniques were employed: 120gm cubes of the vegetables were fried in EVOO, or boiled in water, or boiled in a mixture of water and EVOO. The experimental procedures were strictly controlled, with invariable proportions of the vegetables and the cooking mediums maintained throughout the analyses.

    The vegetables were also kept in optimum conditions in order to accurately measure their moisture, fat, dry matter, and phenol contents, along with their antioxidant capacity,before and after each cooking method was employed.

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    A new UGR study, published in the prestigious journal Food Chemistry, reveals that vegetables fried in extra virgin olive oil have more beneficial properties than their boiled counterparts. The Mediterranean diet in Spain is characterized by a high intake of vegetables and extra... 
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  • Agreement before Monday: Greece and its creditors intense meetings

    At press time, Greece and its creditors, the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had not yet reached an agreement to unlock the last tranche of the bailout loan Greece needs to make a €1.6 billion payment to the IMF on June 30, the same day the current bailout program is set to expire. Without an agreement, Greece risks a default, the failure of its banks, capital controls, and a potential Grexit–an exit from the Eurozone and return to its own currency.

    European and IMF officials have been engaged in intensive talks and emergency meetings with Greek leaders since last week, and on Monday many expressed hope of an agreement based on Greek proposals to phase out early retirements, raise taxes on well-off corporations and individuals, and increase employers’ pension contributions.

    Stock markets reacted favorably. But then on Tuesday the IMF criticized the Greek proposals as likely to inhibit economic growth. On Wednesday, the creditors presented their own new proposals for changes to public pensions and sales taxes, as well as budget cuts, which Greek leaders rejected as too hard on working people and pensioners. On Thursday, Greece and its creditors continued intense meetings, but they were unable to agree on a unified proposal and plan to continue talks on Saturday.posals have been diverging.

    Since the Greek gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by a quarter during the past five years, while unemployment soared above 25 percent (twice that for young people), many pensions are supporting large families with no other income source. According to The Guardian, approximately 8,500 small and medium-sized businesses have closed so far this year; that’s on top of thousands more closed earlier. Taxes have already increased dramatically, along with suicide rates. With its debt now at 180 percent of its GDP, Greece insists that debt restructuring should be part of any agreement.

    The current Greek coalition government (the radical leftist SYRIZA party and the right-wing nationalist ANEL party) was elected in January on an anti-austerity platform. Since taking office, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has claimed that the previous agreement with creditors included extreme austerity measures that led to great suffering in Greece. Given these claims, which have been supported by many prominent economists, Tsipras has been resisting lenders’ demands for additional austerity measures. This week, he finally agreed to compromise, but creditors were not satisfied, nor were most Greeks.

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    At press time, Greece and its creditors, the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had not yet reached an agreement to unlock the last tranche of the bailout loan Greece needs to make a €1.6 billion payment to... 
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