Can Grape Seeds Help You Lose Weight?
by Tyler Le Blanc
Researchers at UC Davis have come up with what is likely the best reason to love wine to date. It could help you lose weight.
Well, at least the seeds of the grape it’s made from could. Chardonnay, America’s favorite white wine — California grows nearly 100,000 acres of the grape a year — could be packing a weight-loss secret within its seeds.
Grape seeds, a waste product from the winemaking process, have long been considered a burden to vintners. Left over after the grapes are crushed, the seeds, along with a mushy concoction of skins and stems, are usually disposed of and considered a necessary waste product of the process.
Taking advantage of this waste stream, a research team, led by USDA agricultural research scientist Dr. Hyunsook Kim, isolated the seeds and processed them into a flour that could be the world’s next super food – and then fed it to hamsters.
The hamsters dining on Chardonnay flour displayed significantly lower cholesterol levels, decreased abdominal fat and reduced weight gain.
The Chardonnay flour, along with flour made from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grape seeds, was introduced to 40 hamsters that had previously been put on a high-fat diet.
The hamsters dining on Chardonnay flour displayed significantly lower cholesterol levels, decreased abdominal fat and reduced weight gain compared to those on red grape seed diets. During the tests all the hamsters continued with the same high-fat diet as before the flour was introduced.
With over 4 million tons of grapes crushed per year (of which nearly 750,000 tons are Chardonnay) in the U.S., this recent discovery could create an exciting alternative income source of vineyard-owners and winemakers alike.
However, don’t go rushing out to your local Whole Foods in search of this fat-burning flour just yet. The grain is currently undergoing human testing at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and no date has been set for when the product will be available for purchase.
If you’re really keen to be ahead of the health-food wave the clinic is accepting volunteers to participate in the trials.
So the next time you’re sharing a bottle of wine and someone asks you if you’ve ever heard of teff, or freekeh, take a slow sip and let him or her know they’re living in the past, because the next super-food could be right under their nose.
Come visit us at the San Francisco Green Festival this Sat & Sun Nov 9th & 10th. Go to WILL CALL at the Attendee Booth, tel them you are guests of Food & Vine and get FREE admission! Then stop by the Artisanal Tasting & Marketplace to say hi and sample our wonderful oils!
Check out this great deal! Wine WOOT’s deal of the day – a 6 pack Essential Grapeseed Oil Kitchen Pantry – 3 silver bullets for cooking and 3 extra virgin varietal finishing oils for drizzling! Only 8 hours left to get some – pick up one set for your self and 2 more as gifts! Only $49.99 – REG $81.00!!!
Chef Victor Scargle is an avid grapeseed oil lover. Victor loves Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil so much he uses it everywhere! Lucy’s currently uses it for sautéing, for marinades, for salads and dressings, for desserts and even in the deep fryer! “I love the light taste which brings out the flavor of our fresh garden herbs, and the high smoke point for our hot food preparations” Says Victor, “Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil is great because it adds body without competing with the flavors in a dish. For example, a little drizzle with some verjus brings out the highlights in Bardessono’s own salad mix or with tuna tartar, the Chardonnay grapeseed oil adds a little acid to balance the richness of the tartar.” Victor also creates a lavoosh cracker with the Chardonnay grapeseed flour on which he serves the tuna tartar.
Victor Scargle has loved cooking since childhood when he and his father would prepare such family favorites as spaghetti with clam sauce, lemon meringue pie and sugar cookies. He cooked in restaurants during high school and college so no one was surprised when, after studying economics at University of California, Santa Barbara, he returned to his childhood passion by enrolling in a one year apprenticeship at Fess Parker’s Red Lion Resort under Executive Chef Brian Bird. Following Chef Bird’s advice to travel and work with a variety of chefs and ingredients, Scargle worked for a year each under Chef Robin Haas of the Colony Bistro in Miami’s South Beach and Douglas Rodriguez at Patria in New York, then did stages at some of Manhattan’s best restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Tribeca Grill, Park Avenue Cafe, Lespinasse and Aureole.
In 1995 Scargle returned to the West Coast. He worked for Michael Mina at Aqua, San Francisco for three and a half years before assisting in the opening of Aqua, Las Vegas in 1998. Scargle was Executive Chef at Pisces in Burlingame, CA, where he received three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle and was also one of the newspaper’s annual “Rising Star Chefs.” Most recently, Chef Scargle worked in San Francisco for the highly acclaimed Jardiniere as Chef de Cuisine, followed by the Grand Café as Executive Chef.
Scargle joined The Patina Group, under the leadership of chef/founder Joachim Splichal, and was appointed Executive Chef of Julia’s Kitchen at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts in February, 2003. In 2004, Chef Scargle received three and one-half stars (out of four) for his food in Julia’s Kitchen from the San Francisco Chronicle.