Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Smelly Post and Seitan Review

Body odor can be affected by diet as well as sweat

(By Molly Kimball, RD)

Interesting food bite I thought I'd share with you:

If glorious smells make us want to eat, is there a scent that could have the opposite effect and actually reduce our urge?

Yes, there is, says psychologist Bryan Raudenbush, a professor at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.

It's peppermint.

His study showed that volunteers who sniffed peppermint scent every two hours were not as hungry as nonsniffers and — even better — they ate 2,800 fewer calories in a week. That's enough to lose close to a pound.

The peppermint, he says, "is distracting you from your hunger pains, and you don't feel as inclined to eat as much."

(Eating peppermint candy or chewing peppermint gum doesn't work as well.)

Raudenbush's earlier studies showed that athletes perform better if they sniff peppermint. "They were able to go longer at the gym, able to push themselves, were more motivated, less fatigued and felt like they had more energy."

The study also concluded "another implication would be that peppermint scent could be used to curb individuals' false hunger cravings, i.e. emotional eating."

Peppermint oil is available online and can be dabbed on a wristband, for example, for easy sniffing. Raudenbush's study used packaged peppermint inhalers available in nutrition stores or for $9.99 at

Q: What is seitan? How healthy is it?

A: Also called wheat gluten, seitan (pronounced “say-tahn”) is a meat substitute that does a better job of resembling real meat than others. A staple in Asian cuisine, wheat gluten made its way to the West with the rise of macrobiotic diets several decades ago under the name seitan, which loosely translates into “made of protein.” Another name for it is “wheat meat.”

Seitan is traditionally made by mixing whole-wheat flour with water and kneading the dough under water until the starch dissolves away. The stretchy gluten (protein) that remains is cut into strips and cooked in broth, resulting in a product that has the chewy and stringy texture of meat. It can be flavored to taste like meat, too.

Seitan is low in calories (90 to 140 in three ounces) and has no saturated fat or cholesterol. It has as much protein as chicken, beef and other meat—and more than tofu. Seitan also provides a little calcium and iron, but doesn’t have the fiber of whole grains. Watch out for sodium, though—some products have more than 400 milligrams per serving.

You can find seitan, refrigerated, at health-food stores, Asian markets and some mainstream supermarkets, in various forms and flavors. You can eat it straight from the package. Or add it to stir-fries, stews, soups, fajitas and other dishes. It’s often an ingredient in other meat substitutes, too, listed as wheat gluten. Some people make their own seitan from gluten flour (“vital wheat gluten“) or commercial mixes.

Seitan is often on the menu at vegetarian restaurants; it may be described as wheat gluten or mock duck, among other names. But if you have a gluten intolerance, keep seitan (and anything that lists wheat gluten as an ingredient) off your own menu.

No comments:

Post a Comment