TIME Diet/Nutrition

Is Halal Meat Healthier than Conventional Meat?

Halal refers to Muslim criteria for how food is raised slaughtered and prepared. But do the requirements make the food healthier?

On Monday, Denmark announced it would ban Halal and Kosher slaughtering practices. Halal meat is reared—and slaughtered—differently from conventional meat. But is it healthier?

Like kosher food, Halal food is guided by religious criteria that govern everything from how the animals destined to be eaten are fed and raised, to how they are slaughtered and prepared for consumption.

According to the Muslims in Dietetics and Nutrition, a member group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Halal food can never contain pork or pork products (that includes gelatin and shortenings), or any alcohol. Rasheed Ahmed, founder and president of the Muslim Consumer Group (MCG), which both certifies Halal food and educates Muslims about different foods’ Halal status, says that to be truly Halal, how the animals are raised is taken into account. Animals must be fed vegetarian diets, which means that many chickens and cows raised on U.S. farms don’t qualify (some feed contains animal byproducts). Halal animals also can’t be treated with antibiotics or growth hormones, since the hormones may contain pork-based ingredients.

Halal animals must be slaughtered by a Muslim, who says a blessing, and by hand, not by machine (which is the way many chickens in the U.S. are killed. Once killed, the animal’s blood must drain completely, since Muslims who eat Halal do not consume the fresh blood of animals.

Ahmed admits that his criteria for certification are a bit stricter than others; for example, MCG won’t certify fish if it’s farm-raised, since it’s not clear whether they fish was fed animal byproducts. Only wild-caught fish are Halal certified by MCG standards.

While some people believe that these criteria make Halal food healthier, Carol O’Neil, professor of nutrition and food sciences at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center says that there simply aren’t studies showing that to be true. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which serves as the reference for nutritional content of food, does not separate out Halal meat (or kosher meat, for that matter) from other meats for its nutritional information.

“It’s difficult to know if there are any kind of nutritional differences,” says O’Neil. “There are certainly no studies done looking at people who consume Halal meat to see if their cholesterol levels are different, or anything like that. We just don’t know.”

O’Neil does note, however, that Halal practices may be more humane for the animal, and therefore that may make a difference for some people. “Our religion does not allow us to put any pressure on the animals,” says Ahmed. “So we treat them as humanely as possible.”

MORE: The 50 Healthiest Foods of All Time (With Recipes)

TIME Diet/Nutrition

This Is Why You’re a Total Sucker for Sweets

Getty Images

It's true: smelling fatty food really does make you crave dessert

Bakeries may want to keep their doors open if they want to attract more customers; new research suggests that when people unconsciously smell a sweet and fatty odor—like the kind that emanates from a just-baked chocolate croissant—they’re more likely to choose to eat a high-calorie dessert.

In the new study published in the journal Appetite, researchers tested whether background cues, like sniffing something delicious, have an effect on a person’s food choices. Before the 147 people in the study even realized the experiment had begun, they were told to sit in a waiting room for 15 minutes. In one control group, they simply sat in a regular room. In another (luckier) group, they sat in a room in which the researchers had just baked pain au chocolat and activated a fragrance diffuser with the scent of the treat. The third group sat in an unscented room while a radio aired a piece about the nutritional dangers of fatty and sweet foods, and the final group experienced both the chocolate scent and the audio messages.

MORE: You Asked: Is Eating Dessert Really That Bad For Me?

Then, the people in the study were taken into a different room where they were asked to serve themselves a lunch of a starter, a main course and a dessert from a buffet.

People who had unwittingly smelled the sweet-fatty odor of the pain au chocolat were more likely to choose a high-calorie dessert, like a waffle, compared to people who hadn’t been exposed to the scented room. (Those people were more likely to choose the low-calorie dessert of applesauce.)

MORE: A New Taste Has Just Been Added To The Human Palate

Surprisingly to the researchers, the people who heard the nutritional messages also picked more high-calorie desserts that the control group, as did the group that experienced both the scent and the messaging. “We can assume that people who are faced with a complex and potentially overwhelming set of health messages every day do not pay attention to these messages,” the study authors write. “Consumers are exposed to hundreds of advertising messages per day and cannot pay attention to all of them.” Instead of taking away a healthy eating message from the radio, the researchers surmise that the men and women may have unconsciously focused on the words “fatty” and “sweet” instead.

The study sample is small, and the researchers acknowledge that they weren’t able to examine other factors related to eating habits and preferences, like gender and age. Still, the study provides insight into cues we may not even realize are influencing the foods we choose.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

This Weird Cooking Method Helps Lower Arsenic Levels in Rice

Alex Ortega—EyeEm/Getty Images

You'll need one unexpected piece of kitchen equipment

High levels of arsenic can naturally occur in rice, making the food dangerous to consume in too-great quantities. But an unconventional cooking method might help reduce the risk.

Researchers knew that the standard method of boiling rice in a pot or rice cooker only fixes the arsenic to the grain. But a different preparation method could wash away some of the dangerous chemical element.

So they tried cooking it in a coffee maker, which not only distilled the cooking water (which can also contain arsenic) through the steaming process, but also allowed excess liquid to drip through the filter, removing more arsenic. This method effectively reduced the level of arsenic by about half.

The researchers do not expect most people to start cooking their rice in their percolators, but they do hope that the proof encourages manufacturers to develop new rice cookers that operate on the principle.

[Scientific American]

TIME Diet/Nutrition

A New Taste Has Been Added to the Human Palate

TIME.com stock photos Food Snacks Chips Cheetos
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Say hello to the taste of pure fat

We classify food as sweet, sour, salty, bitter or umami, but a new paper published in the journal Chemical Senses argues that we’re missing another basic taste: fatty.

It’s called oleogustus, and it’s the unique taste of fat, says Richard D. Mattes, distinguished professor of nutrition science at Purdue University and one of the authors of the study. “I can’t use any words that exist, so we’re forced to make it up,” Mattes says. (The Latin translation of oily or fatty taste is “oleogustus.”)

There’s no one definition for what makes something a basic taste, but Mattes thinks of it as meeting several categories: the stimulus should have a unique structure, it should bind or interact with a unique receptor, it should be carried by the taste nerves to the central nervous system where taste information is decoded, and it should have a particular function.

Mattes and his colleagues wanted to see if a group of people classified “fatty” as a taste that is unique from the basic tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter or umami. They fed people a series of solutions, plugged their noses to control for odor and asked them to sort them into similar or dissimilar taste categories.

People indeed separated fatty acids into a tight group; when they were given samples of bitter, umami and fatty tastes, they sorted fatty acids in a league of their own, even though there isn’t currently an accepted category or name for the taste.

“It’s been very difficult to figure out if people really view this as unique sensation, because we have no word for it,” Mattes says. “It’s pretty strong evidence that they are, in fact, perceptually distinct.”

But lest you associate the taste category with a delicious slice of greasy pizza, Mattes has some bad news. “Fatty acid taste is awful,” he says. “We think it’s more of a warning system.” We might be able to distinguish a fatty taste, but it’s not the type of fatty taste we know and love. The creaminess and viscosity we associate with fatty foods is largely due to triglycerides: a molecule with three fatty acids that isn’t a taste stimulus, but rather a mouthfeel, Mattes says. Triglycerides also deliver fat-soluble flavor compounds, Mattes says, but that flavor isn’t the true taste of fat.

To get a sense of what that tastes like, imagine heating your fryer for a good long time and tasting the food you cook in it, Mattes suggests. It won’t be pleasant, and you certainly won’t want to eat it. “The food industry has known about this for a very long time, and they go to great efforts to keep concentrations of these fatty acids below detection thresholds, because if you can detect them you’re likely not to eat the food,” he says. But in small concentrations below detection levels, the taste can be pleasant—just as we enjoy the bitterness of wine, chocolate and coffee, Mattes says.

Classifying a new taste could help us understand our food better, Mattes says. “If you understand the workings of a sensory system, you can use them for purpose,” he says. “Whether that’s to improve the quality of the food supply, the safety of the food supply, reduction of cardiovascular disease, treat taste disorders, there are any number of possibilities here.”

TIME Diet/Nutrition

FDA Wants Nutrition Labels to Include More Detail on Added Sugars

Americans could know more about the amount of added sugar in their food

Federal officials want to give Americans more information about the amount of sugar added to their food, and what those amounts mean.

On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has revised its proposal for nutritional labels to not only include the amount of added sugars in grams (something the FDA recommended in 2014), but also to list the percent Daily Value (% DV) of those added sugars, in the same way that other items are currently listed.

The intent of the change is to not only show buyers how much sugar is in their food, but to indicate how that amount compares to the recommended daily limit on sugar consumption. Officials recommend that people not consume more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugar.

“Scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie requirements if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar,” writes Susan Mayne, the FDA’s director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in a blog post about the proposed change. “FDA’s initial proposal to include the amount of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label is now further supported by newly reviewed studies suggesting healthy dietary patterns, including lower amounts of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, are strongly associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The FDA recommends that adults and children age 4 and older not consume more than 50 grams of added sugars per day. For kids ages 1 through 3, the recommended limit is 25 grams of sugar.

For context, the FDA provides the example of a consumer drinking a 20-oz. sugary beverage. That contains about 66 grams of added sugar, according to the FDA, which would be listed on the label as 132% of the Daily Value.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The 9 Worst Breakfasts for Your Waistline

And what you should eat instead

healthiest foods, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, eggs, breakfast, dairy
Photograph by Danny Kim for TIME; Gif by Mia Tramz for TIME

Recently, food marketers have noticed a new trend. Even as younger consumers have become more kale-curious and health-conscious, they are still clamoring for one particular type of fast food: breakfasts. In response, Taco Bell introduced an A.M. menu—including the new and terrifying Biscuit Tacos, where half the calories come from fat. McDonald’s, meanwhile, announced it was going to experiment with serving Egg McMuffins and pancakes all day long.

The media dubbed this battle for your dollar “The Breakfast Wars”—but you may be the true casualty.

Breakfast can be a good thing. Studies show that people who take time for a morning meal consume fewer calories over the course of the day, have stronger cognitive skills, and are 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. But when food marketers get their hands on it, “a hearty breakfast” turns into something more like “a heart-breaking breakfast,” because much of what’s on offer at America’s restaurants—and the grocery aisles—is a collection of fatty scrambles, misguided muffin missiles, and pancakes that look like manhole covers.

It’s time for a wake up call. Eat This, Not That! magazine editors searched out the good, the bad, and the greasy and put together this special report: The Worst Breakfast Foods in America 2015!

  • Worst Sweet Cereal

    Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (1 cup)

    100 calories, .5g fat, 40mg sodium, 24g carbohydrates, 15g sugar

    That’s the Sugar Equivalent of: Scarfing a Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie and calling it breakfast.

    The Smacks mascot, Dig’em Frog, needs a smackdown: His cereal has more sugar than Tony the Tiger’s, Fred Flintstone’s or even Cap’n Crunch! Worse, each puff is coated with partially hydrogenated oil, a substance even fast-food chains are about to ban because they contain traces of trans-fats. Smacks also contain caramel color, which has been shown to increase the risk of cancer in animals and is a possible carcinogen for humans, too. General Mills just announced they’d be removing artificial colors from their cereals; ask Kellogg’s to do the same.

    Eat This Instead!

    General Mills’ Kix

    110 calories, 1 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar

    Kix is the safest of all sweet cereals, and go great with blueberries.

  • Worst “Healthy” Cereal

    Bear Naked Go Bananas…Go Nuts Granola (1⁄2 cup)

    280 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated), 4 g fiber, 10 g sugar

    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: a Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Muffin in a bowl—except this granola has more saturated fat!

    Granola may be the most overrated breakfast food of all time. What do you think is holding all those banana-y clumps together? Sugar and oil. And 4 grams of fiber just isn’t enough to save this bowl. Studies have shown that if you eat more fiber at breakfast, you’ll consume fewer calories throughout the day.

    Eat This Instead!

    Kellogg’s All-Bran Original (1 cup)

    160 calories, 2 g fat, 20 g fiber, 12 g sugar

    It’s called All-Bran! This is as fiber-rich as it gets, with a touch of sweetness, too.

  • Worst Doughnut

    Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Butternut Donut

    420 calories, 17 g fat (8 g saturated), 60 g carbohydrates, 35 g sugar

    That’s the Sugar Equivalent of: one serving of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream—except this doughnut has 130 more calories, 3 grams more fat and 22 more carbs!

    Good doughnuts hover in the 200- to 300-calorie range, but Dunkin’ Donuts has broken new barriers with this doughy disaster. At 420, it has more calories than a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin with hash browns and nearly as much sugar as 5 bowls of Froot Loops. In fact, it’s the highest-calorie doughnut out there—neither Krispy Kreme nor Tim Horton’s have one that tops 400 calories. Speaking of numbers, here’s another: The Blueberry Butternut has 44 ingredients, including Eat This, Not That! must-avoids like propylene glycol (aka an ingredient in anti-freeze), preservatives and artificial flavors. And how many actual blueberries? Zero.

    Eat This Instead!

    Dunkin’ Donuts Lemon Donut

    260 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated), 29 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar

    This has an equally-long list of artificial ingredients, but it’s one of the lowest-calorie options at Dunkin’ Donuts.

  • Worst Breakfast Burrito

    Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwrap — Sausage

    710 calories, 47 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 1,260 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Calorie Equivalent of: Two regular dinnertime Taco Bell burritos, eaten for breakfast!

    Taco Bell? For breakfast? The news made everyone laugh last year. But the joke’s on you: Most items are more than 500 calories. For the Sausage Crunchwrap, the Bell found a way to stuff sausage and hash browns into this carb vessel, plus shredded cheddar cheese, a pile of eggs and 50 other ingredients, many unpronounceable. The Breakfast Wars are most brutal to your belly.

    Eat This Instead!

    Taco Bell A.M. Grilled Taco — Egg and Cheese

    170 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated), 330 sodium, 15 g carbohydrates

    If you’re south of the border, order the Egg and Cheese sandwich, sound advice at any fast food chain in the A.M. hours. This one has 12 grams of tummy-filling protein.

  • Worst Breakfast Sandwich

    Hardee’s Monster Biscuit

    710 calories, 47 g fat (18 g saturated), 2,160 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Sodium and Fat Equivalent of: A 6″ Meat Lovers Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut! In one sandwich!

    This Monster monstrosity has three kinds of pork and more than a day’s worth of sodium. From the bottom up, you’ll find ham, and then cheese, and then a sausage patty, and then more cheese, and then a folded egg, and then bacon, all between a fatty biscuit. A close second for Worst: The Jack in the Box Loaded Breakfast Sandwich, which has the same ingredients between sourdough bread, for the same amount of calories—but with far less sodium.

    Eat This Instead!

    Hardee’s Frisco Breakfast Sandwich

    360 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,100 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrates

    Every single breakfast option at Hardee’s has too much sodium—unless you order the grits—but at least this one also has 19 grams of protein.

  • Worst “Healthy” Breakfast

    Dunkin’ Donuts Multigrain Bagel with Reduced Fat Strawberry Cream Cheese

    500 calories, 17 g fat (6.5), 650 sodium, 78 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Calorie Equivalent of: A Bacon McDouble at McDonald’s, yet without the benefit of its significant protein!

    The worst part about this breakfast is that scores of health-conscious eaters (who somehow wandered into a Dunkin’, perhaps for the coffee) order this thinking they’re making a smart choice. No matter how healthy the bagel or its toppings may appear, there is just no escaping the fact that this one is bogus. In fact, you’re unlikely to find any bagel combination at chain restaurants that register less than 400 calories, because most have refined carbs and low-grade fats.

    Eat This Instead!

    Dunkin’ Donuts Egg and Cheese English Muffin Sandwich

    240 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 490 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates

    With 12 grams of protein and less sodium than in years past, this is a Dunkin’ Do.

  • Worst Pancakes

    Denny’s Peanut Butter Cup Pancake Breakfast

    1,670 calories, 105 g fat (33 g saturated), 2,765 mg sodium, 148 g carbohydrates, 64 g sugar

    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: 33 McDonald’s Hotcakes stacked high!

    Wait, doesn’t this belong on a list of the Worst Desserts in America? IHOP has New York Cheesecake Pancakes. Perkins sells ones called Apple Pie. But Denny’s Peanut Butter Cup Pancake Breakfast out-sweets them all. They’ve stuffed two buttermilk pancakes with chocolate and white chocolate chips, and then topped it with hot fudge and peanut butter sauce. The result is a dish with more sugar than 5 servings of Edy’s Ice Cream. (Throw in eggs, hash browns and two sausage links, and the sodium count soars, too.) Craziest part: They offer maple syrup on the side.

    Eat This Instead!

    Denny’s Build-Your-Own-Grand-Slam with 2 Pancakes (370 calories) and 2 egg whites (60 calories).

  • Worst Breakfast Omelette

    IHOP Chorizo Fiesta Omelet

    1,300 calories, 106 g fat (34 g saturated, 1 g trans), 3,220 sodium, 33 g carbohydrates. But if you also order the accompanying side of pancakes and syrup, it’s 1,990 calories and 42 grams of saturated fat.

    That’s the Sodium Equivalent of: Eating 273 Cheetos for breakfast

    IHOP was one of the last chains to release its nutritional numbers, and given the national-debt-level calorie counts of much of its menu, we can see why. This overstuffed omelette is bursting with chorizo, roasted peppers, pepper jack cheese and onions and then smothered in sour cream and chili sauce. Throw in the three additional pancakes, and you’ve got a “healthy” meal with a day’s worth of calories.

    Eat This Instead!

    IHOP Simple & Fit Vegetable Omelette

    310 calories, 12 g fat (4.5 saturated), 750 mg sodium, 6 g carbs

  • Worst Breakfast in America

    Cheesecake Factory Bruleéd French Toast

    2,780 calories, N/A fat (93 g of saturated fat), 2,230 mg sodium, 120 g sugar

    That’s the Saturated Fat Equivalent of: 6 Sonic cheeseburgers, and the calorie equivalent of 40 Dunkin Donuts’ Munchkins.

    Speaking of dessert for breakfast! This “rustic” dish will rust your arteries. It has a full day’s worth of sodium, more than a day’s worth of calories, three to four days worth of sugar and a week’s worth of saturated fat. Cheesecake Factory won’t reveal the total fat count—maybe because they can’t count that high? Meet the absolute Worst Breakfast in America.

    Eat This Instead

    Cheesecake Factory Plain Omelette

    490 calories, other nutritionals N/A

    This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

    More from Eat This, Not That!

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Should I Eat Yogurt-Covered Snacks?

5/5 experts say no.

Yogurt-coated fruit sounds like a double-dosage health food. But don’t be fooled—a shell of “yogurt” contains some very un-yogurtlike things, according to all five of our experts.

While these coatings may be called ‘yogurt,’ they are really a kind of ‘frosting’ of which yogurt is an ingredient,” says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. The real stars of yogurt coatings are sugar—and not the kind that naturally occurs in dairy foods—and oil. “Having the name ‘yogurt’ in the mix is supposed to make it all okay,” Katz says. “It does not.”

In fact, the stuff that makes up yogurt coating—typically sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, yogurt powder, emulsifiers and salt—is a far cry from its namesake. “One should definitely not think about these as a health food,” says Mario Kratz, PhD, a dairy researcher and nutrition scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “I’d place most of these snacks in the same category as candy bars.”

At first glance, the nutritional stats don’t seem so bad; for a popular brand, a 1/4 cup serving of vanilla yogurt raisins has 19 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fat, while the same serving size of regular raisins actually has more sugar—29 grams of it—but no fat. But that’s far from a nutritional wash. Since yogurt-covered raisins are so much chunkier than their natural, unadulterated peers, you get far fewer raisins per serving and far more of the unnatural kind of sugar.

There’s another danger to these snack food “impostors,” says Dina Rose, PhD, a sociologist and feeding expert of the blog It’s Not About Nutrition: The Art & Science of Teaching Kids to Eat Right. “For kids, yogurt-covered snacks like yogurt-covered (or really, oil-covered) raisins and pretzels teach that these foods should look and taste like candy,” she says. Getting a kid to recognize that a yogurt-covered snack should only be eaten occasionally, she says, is the tricky part.

J. Bruce German, PhD, professor and director of the Foods for Health Institute at the University of California, Davis—and a yogurt researcher—says that while yogurt is a “nourishing food product,” the kind that’s dried, mixed with stabilizers and blanketed on dried snacks isn’t the same. “In general most of the attributes of fresh yogurt are lost in making coated snacks,” he says.

That’s why the snacks you buy at the movie theater aren’t the real deal, agrees Jennifer Willoughby, a dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. But here’s the good part: making your own snacks from real yogurt is a tasty and healthy treat. “Choose a plain or vanilla yogurt to dip fruit or nuts in, and then freeze for a sweet treat with significantly less added sugar and more nutritional benefit,” she says.

yogurt covered pretzels
Illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME

Read Next: Should I Eat Butter?

TIME Diet/Nutrition

False Advertising Lawsuit Claims This Almond Milk Brand Doesn’t Have Enough Almonds

Milk Alternatives almond breeze
Ross Hailey—MCT/Getty Images

A false advertising suit claims Almond Breeze is only 2 percent almonds

How much of your almond milk is actually made from almonds? A new false advertising lawsuit against Almond Breeze maker Blue Diamond alleges it’s far less than the packaging would have you believe.

Blue Diamond doesn’t list what percentage of Almond Breeze is made from almonds in the U.S., but a U.K. Almond Breeze website says it’s only 2 percent, FoodNavigator-USA reports.

The lawsuit, filed July 14 in New York, doesn’t specify what percentage the average customer would deem acceptable for purchase, but it does say “upon an extensive review of the recipes for almond milk on the internet, the vast majority of the recipes call for one part almost and three or four parts water, amounting to 25-33% of almonds.”

Plaintiffs Tracy Albert and Dimitrios Malaxianis argue in the suit that the product’s packaging, which includes pictures of almonds and the phrase “made from real almonds,” deceives customers into thinking they’re buying a product made mostly from almonds. The lawsuit also claims “that consumers allegedly purchased the product based on the belief that it was a healthy and premium product,” food law attorney David L. Ter Molen told the site.

When the issue came up in the U.K. three years ago, its Advertising Standards Authority said customers likely understood how much water was needed to create almond milk: “We considered that, whilst consumers might not be aware of exactly how almond milk was produced, they were likely to realize… that the production of almond milk would necessarily involve combining almonds with a suitable proportion of liquid to produce a ‘milky’ consistency.”

Blue Diamond did not respond immediately to TIME’s or FoodNavigator-USA’s requests for comment.


TIME Diet/Nutrition

6 Facts About Gluten That You’re Probably Getting Wrong

What exactly is gluten? Most Americans can’t give a satisfactory answer, a survey published Tuesday found.

Though 9 in 10 Americans have heard of the protein — “gluten-free diet,” “gluten sensitivity” — 54% of survey respondents couldn’t define it correctly, according to NSF International, an independent public health inspection organization.

Here are the common gluten misunderstandings, according to the survey:

1. A quick Gluten 101. Gluten is a protein found in the “Big Three” grains (wheat, barely and rye) and their many derivatives, and also less common grains like triticale and malt. There are a variety of reasons why people aim for a gluten-free diet, including celiac disease, wheat allergy or other sensitivities to gluten. Whether a gluten-free diet is generally healthier is still being debated.

2. Wheat-free doesn’t mean gluten free. Remember: wheat is just one of several grains that contain gluten.

3. Rice is gluten-free, in most cases. Rice is a grain—but not all grains contain gluten.

4. Spices and flavoring can contain gluten, though not usually. In some cases, spices are adulterated with wheat flour or wheat starch to cut costs, which can lead to cross-contamination.

5. Same goes for dietary supplements.

6. A “gluten-free” label doesn’t always mean the food has been verified to be truly gluten-free. Though the FDA regulates “gluten-free” labeling on processed food, it doesn’t regulate claims made on restaurant and bakery menus, the survey warns.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

3 Easy Peach Recipes That Will Make You Look Like a Gourmet Chef

Celebrate the nutrient-packed summer fruit with these recipes

Summer is the perfect time for peaches—a classic farmers’ market staple that is not only juicy and refreshing, but also packed with essential nutrients, like vitamins C and E, calcium, and iron.

Here are three creative recipes from Peaches ($14, shortstackededitions.com), a new cookbook from Health‘s food director, Beth Lipton, to help you make the most of this healthy and versatile seasonal treat.

  • Peach upside-down cake

    Courtesy of Short Stack Editions

    “Take a tarte Tatin, mate it with a buttery cake, and the resulting love child is this fancy-looking but simple dessert,” Lipton writes. “The strong butter flavor and a little hint of ginger are a delicious setting for the slightly boozy, very brown sugary sauteed peaches.”

    Serves: 8


    12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided, plus more for the pan
    1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    ¼ teaspoon plus a pinch salt
    ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
    3 tablespoons bourbon
    2 to 3 medium-ripe peaches (8 to 12 ounces)—peeled, pitted, and sliced
    ¾ cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
    Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving


    Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9-inch-round cake pan. In a bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk until well mixed and set aside.

    Cut 4 tablespoons of butter into slices and place in a large skillet. Add the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, bourbon, and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined. Add the peach slices and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften and their liquid thickens, 7 to 9 minutes.

    Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the peach slices and arrange them in circles in the bottom of the cake pan, beginning on the outside and moving into the middle of the pan, overlapping if necessary (you may not use all of the slices; save any extras for snacking or another use). Pour the remaining juices from the skillet over the peaches, taking care not to move them.

    In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and remaining teaspoon of vanilla, then the remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

    Using an offset spatula, gently spread the batter over the peaches, taking care not to move them too much. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden and bounces back when lightly pressed in the center. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the outer edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving dish. If any peach slices are stuck in the baking pan, carefully place them on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.

  • Halibut & shrimp ceviche

    Courtesy of Beth Lipton

    Best thing about ceviche in the summer: You don’t have to go near a stove, Lipton writes. “Peaches set this ceviche apart from others I’ve tried; the fruit’s sweetness balances the salty fish and spicy jalapeño and makes the whole thing just scream ‘summer.’ Plus, the peaches add a burst of color that plays well with the pink in the shrimp and the green of the chile.” You can also try serving it in small paper cups at a party.

    Serves: 4


    ½ small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
    1 large peach (or 2 small ones)—peeled, pitted and sliced or cut into ½-inch chunks
    1 small jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
    8 ounces halibut, cut into small chunks
    8 ounces medium peeled and deveined shrimp, cut into 4 or 5 pieces each
    ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    Zest of 1 lime, for garnish, optional


    Place the onion, peach, jalapeño, halibut, and shrimp in a nonreactive bowl. Stir in the lime and lemon juices and a large pinch of salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

    Drain the fish mixture and return to the bowl. Stir in the oil. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the cilantro. Spoon the ceviche into glasses, garnish with the lime zest, if desired, and serve.

  • Peach preserves

    Courtesy of Beth Lipton

    As Lipton explains in Peaches, this recipe adopts the techniques of French jam maker Christine Ferber, who macerates the fruit overnight, cooks the resulting syrup first, and then returns the fruit to the cooked syrup. The result: jam that just screams fruit. This is especially important with peach preserves. Using this method, the fruit itself isn’t cooked as much, so it retains its essential peachiness.

    Makes: 1 ½ cups


    1½ pounds ripe peaches (about 5 medium)—peeled, pitted and chopped
    ¾ cup sugar
    Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
    Generous pinch of kosher salt


    Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

    Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large saucepan. Pour the peach mixture into the sieve and let the fruit’s juices collect in the pan. Reserve the solids, place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring often, until the liquid is syrupy and reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

    Add the peach mixture to the pan and bring back to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Crush the peaches with the back of a wooden spoon as they cook (for a smoother preserve, use an immersion blender). Transfer the preserves to a large bowl to cool.

    Spoon the peach preserves into a pint-size jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. The preserves will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks. Or seal the preserves in sterilized jars using the boiling water method and store at room temperature.

    For more cool summer recipes celebrating all things peach, be sure to check out the rest of Lipton’s cookbook!

    Courtesy of Short Stack Editions

    This article originally appeared on Health.com

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