Tag Archives: chocolate

The Myth of the Sugar High

Let’s put this one to rest once and for all…
Sugar does NOT turn kids into hyperactive maniacs.
There’s NO SUCH THING as a sugar-induced high.

I know what you’re thinking. Of course it’s real. You’ve seen it with your own eyes. Two cans of Coke or a birthday party goodie bag and the kids are bouncing off the walls.

But study after study after study proves otherwise. Researchers have tested the sugar in soda, candy, and fruit; compared honey, molasses, corn syrup, and cane sugar; looked at short-term and long-term effects; examined young kids, old kids, kids with ADHD and the purportedly sugar sensitive; and the results are always the same: there is no scientific cause and effect between sweets and hyperactivity. In fact the only reason there are so many studies is because you refuse to believe the results.

I know. You’re still not convinced because studies, schmudies; you know what you know—a handful of Hershey’s Kisses and you’re prying the little ones off the ceiling.

The scientific community has a couple of theories.
All suggest that there is a legitimate high; it’s just not really from the sugar.

The buzz can come from the sheer thrill of getting a sweet treat—eating a forbidden or restricted food can in itself create a certain excitement. Then there are the environmental factors. Often the treats are given on occasions when the kids are already amped up like a play date, the ball park, a holiday, a school event, or a party. It can also be the caffeine that’s found in the treats—it’s in soda, and not just cola but some orange, cream soda, and lemon-lime varieties; and it’s in the chocolate in cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, candy bars, pudding, ice cream, and more. And then there are the expectations. Parents are on alert, on the lookout for bad behavior, maybe even fueling it by raising the anxiety level in their kids.

There are plenty of  good reasons to limit the amount of sugar in children’s diets. A sugar high just isn’t one of them.


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The Shape of Things to Come

Ice comes in cubes. Same for sugar. White Castle even sells its hamburgers as little cubed sliders.
Yes, we’ve always liked a good cube.

It’s a Platonic solid, a perfect shape in terms of its symmetry and aesthetics. Scientists and mathematicians have always been mad for cubes.
But that still doesn’t explain why the food business is suddenly cubing everything in sight.

Not that we’re complaining about hot chocolate cubes that you swirl into a cup of milk. It’s like the foil-wrapped chocolate Ice Cubes you see by the cash register, but on a stick, and  the chocolate’s better. [The Ticket Kitchen Chocolate on a Stick]



It’s instant coffee and it’s cubed. As far as we can tell, just ‘cuz.  [Little Delights—The Original Coffee Cube]



If you make a lot of smoothies, this one will make a lot of sense. It’s frozen smoothie cubes. You add them to milk or juice in a blender.  [Creative Gourmet Smoothie Cubes]


In the midst of all the cubing, the traditional bouillon cube is bucking the trend. The familiar shape has seasoned the stew for generations of cooks, but this year it’s being reformulated as a blocky ‘X’ said to dissolve easier. Can you say New Coke?








The big daddy of cube introductions is the restaurant cube. It’s a fully equipped, self-contained restaurant inside a semi-translucent cube that will be placed atop a series of European landmarks. It will operate as a temporary, 18-seat pop-up restaurant at each location, using a resident chef and locally sourced ingredients. It’s currently perched on the main arch at the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, Belgium. [Cube by Electrolux]

And finally, we would be remiss in our cube roundup if we failed to mention the cube known around the ‘net as ‘is it a puppy or a loaf of bread?’.



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Eat Candy. Live Longer.

There’s a scene in the movie Sleeper.
Woody Allen plays the owner of a health food store who is cryogenically frozen in 1973 and defrosted by a pair of scientists 200 years later…

Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”
Dr. Aragon: Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or . . . hot
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy . . . precisely the opposite
of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.

Yes to butter, no to soy. Or is it yes to soy?
Who can keep track?
We’ve seen good foods gone bad— think of tuna and margarine; and we’ve seen coffee, red wine, and chocolate become the new health foods. Now we’re learning that people who eat candy live longer and lead healthier lives than those who abstain.

Candy eaters weigh less and have smaller waistlines. They are at lower risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Chocoholics in particular have significantly improved cardiovascular health, while peppermint lovers have tougher immune systems and fewer digestive disorders.

In multiple, multi-decade studies conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, the USDA, and others, health benefits couldn’t be explained by age, gender, weight, exercise, smoking, diet, or family history. It all points to the candy.

The act of repetitive chomping on something chewy can increase serotonin levels that can improve your mood, reduce stress, increase your mental focus, and block pain. Make it something sweet and chewy, and it’s known to help you persevere longer on difficult tasks, delay gratification, and restore willpower. In other words, candy can help you stay on a diet.

Do yourself a favor and unwrap a Hershey’s bar or pop some gummis. Life is sweet.

Data referenced can be found in the February 2011 issue of Nutrition Research; and Life is Sweet: candy consumption and longevity.


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Mmmm. Tastes Like Brooklyn.

Exit Sign: Brooklyn Bridge, southbound at Cadman Plaza West.

The hot dogs and pastrami will be halal when the Brooklyn Diner opens this week in Dubai.
This, the third location and the only one outside of New York, will will have the same neon signs, Ebbets Field mural, and brass plaques with names of American celebrities and sport figures as the original. Noodle kugel will be served with the pot roast and egg creams will be made with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup. They’ll still be using challah in the diner’s French toast, but it will be called egg bread, and the kosher pickles will be referred to as ‘sour dills.’
You don’t want to be too Jewish in Dubai. […]

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Chewable Coffee, Sushi-on-a-Stick: What will they think of next?


Have you seen the press coverage of the Candwich?


News of the Candwich, the latest innovation in sandwich technology, has been covered by everyone from Stephen Colbert and Perez Hilton to Business Week and the New York Times. The sandwiches, in peanut butter or barbecued chicken varieties, are packed in pop-top beverage-style cans. There’s been a little hang-up as the backing company sorts through SEC allegations of fraud— apparently the investors believed their $145 million was funding real estate deals, despite the money manager’s track record with a company that sold rose petals imprinted with greeting card sentiments. But given the excellent shelf-life of the Candwiches, the delay shouldn’t pose a problem. […]

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25 Top Selling Candies: Is your favorite on the list?

Top-Selling Sweets
We are undeniably candy traditionalists. While new confections are introduced at a rate of around 2,000 each year, the average age of the top 25 candies sold in this country is 50 years.
And who knew we chewed so much gum?

#25 Ice Breakers have been a consistent top seller since first making a splash with their distinctive two-door hockey puck packaging.

The Orbit brand made its first appearance as a replacement during WWII when Wrigley shipped all its Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, and Doublemint gum to the troops. Discontinued after the war, it was brought back in 2001. #24 Orbit White, the tooth-whitening version, was an instant hit. […]

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Something Really Scary at the Movies: The Popcorn!


There’s nothing quite like movie theater popcorn. The heady smell fills your nostrils tempting you before you even reach the ticket window. According to industry group the Popcorn Board, “popcorn is among the healthiest — and tastiest — snacks around.  It’s a whole grain food that’s low in calories and fat and it’s a complex carbohydrate.” Don’t you feel virtuous for passing on the Junior Mints!

Actually, there is something like movie theater popcorn. How about a half rack of Ruby Tuesday’s barbecued spareribs and a scoop of Häagen-Dazs? That’s the nutritional equivalent of a medium popcorn at Regal Theaters, the nation’s largest chain. […]

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8 Great Microwave Tricks


They say that necessity is the mother of invention, but I’d cast my vote for convenience.

When it comes to convenience, it’s tough to top the microwave oven. It is entirely redundant in our kitchens. It does nothing more than duplicate cooking processes that are nearly always better-performed by other appliances, yet 95% of us have one. […]

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Bigger, Bolder, Spicier: our new-found love of flavor


We’ve always liked our flavors the way we like our politicians.

A little dull, a little bland. In a world of extremes, America has remained moderate, clinging steadfastly to the middle. But the winds of change have been blowing. Iceberg lettuce has given way to arugula, mayonnaise to garlic aioli, yellow mustard to dijon. […]

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You Can Pay Me in Chocolate


Exchange-traded derivatives. Market-neutral hedge funds. Yield curves, indexed annuities, and currency swaps.

Can’t we just eat some chocolate?

A U.K. chocolatier that’s looking for expansion capital is issuing bonds that pay chocolate dividends. […]

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Food Can Make You Pretty

If only there were a magic potion.

One gulp and blemishes are gone, wrinkles are smoothed, and a youthful glow radiates from every pore. If only. Until that scientific break-through or rainforest miracle plant discovery, there are foods you can eat that will improve the health and appearance your complexion.

Eat your wrinkles away […]

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Do the Math: You need to eat more chocolate.


Just in case you needed another excuse, the list of benefits from chocolate keeps getting longer.

For years medical studies have been telling us that dark chocolate can be good for our health.
But can chocolate really make us better at math? […]

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