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Sunsweet offers new healthier snack options

BY Jason Owen

YUBA CITY, Calif — Americans love to snack, but they don’t always have to settle for treats sacrificing good taste for healthier ingredients. Sunsweet — a leading brand of dried plums, specialty dried fruits and fruit juices — bolsters that advice with its newest offerings: Amazin’ Berry Blend and Amazin’ Cranberries.

Both new blends include Plum Amazin’s diced plums, which studies have shown can help fight osteoporosis by preventing bone mineral loss and contain potassium, copper, boron and vitamin K.

Sunsweet’s Amazin’ Berry Blend combines Plum Amazin’s diced plums, cranberries, blueberries and cherries to create a sweet-and-tart blend.

With Amazin’ Cranberries, Sunsweet steps into the popular cranberry market. Cranberries have grown consistently at 30% over the last three years. Amazin’ Cranberries offer 23% less sugar and 12% fewer calories than standard cranberry-only options. The sweet Plum Amazin’s diced plums serve as a great complement to the tart, albeit popular, cranberries, resulting in truly Amazin’ Cranberries, which are great for snacking, using as a topping or baking.

"Consumers continue to seek convenient snacks that also offer nutritional value. Our new Amazin’ products provide healthy snack options with less sugar and fewer calories for increasingly health-minded consumers," said Dane Lance, president of Sunsweet Growers.

Amazin’ Berry Blend and Amazin’ Cranberries are now available in retail locations.


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Reports: Hy-Vee includes beer, wine bar in new Kan. store

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Hy-Vee’s new store in Overland Park, Kan., will include a beer and wine bar, according to published reports.

The Kansas City Star reported that the company’s new store would be the first in the Kansas City, Mo., area to offer such a bar and one of the few in the country to do so.

Many of Hy-Vee’s newest stores throughout the Midwest already include sushi bars, cafes and other food-service venues in addition to traditional supermarket products and services.

 

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Mediterranean diet reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The alleged health benefits of a Mediterranean diet have been touted for years, but a new study adds weight to the claims.

The study, published online Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that a traditional Mediterranean diet — characterized as rich in extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables and including moderate wine consumption, as well as low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats and sweets — reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Spanish researchers enrolled 7,447 men between 55 and 80 and women between 60 and 80 who did not have cardiovascular disease, but were identified has having high risk due to Type 2 diabetes or factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, poor weight control or a family history of heart disease. Participants were divided into three groups — one group that ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, one that ate a diet supplemented with nuts and a control group — and followed for nearly five years, starting in October 2003.

After five years, the researchers recorded 96 incidents of cardiovascular disease among the olive oil group, 83 among the nut group and 109 in the control group. Overall, the researchers found that the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 30%.

"In conclusion, in this primary prevention trial, we observed that an energy-unrestricted Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events among high-risk persons. The results support the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease," the authors wrote.


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