Segments in this Video

Finding Food's Secret Powers (01:25)


With the help of members of the public, host Cherry Healey will scientifically investigate supermarket favorites such as chocolate, tea, milk, and eggs to discover their surprising secrets.

Britain's Favorite Drink (01:57)

Cherry Healey hosts a tea party in Manchester for members of the Women's Institute. Chemist and tea expert Tim Bond notes tea leaves contain over 700 natural chemicals, including theanine that helps us relax, and fluoride that prevents tooth decay.

How We Brew Tea (02:00)

Tea leaves contain antioxidants which reduce the chance of chronic illness. How we brew tea is important. 40 seconds is the average brew time, whereas taste experts recommend three minutes. But how does brewing affect antioxidants?

A Brewing Experiment (02:36)

Tim Bond and the Women's Institute brew five batches of tea for different lengths of time to find out which contains the highest level of antioxidants. The 7-minute brew contains three times the flavonoids as the 30-second brew.

Three Minute Compromise (01:33)

Tea brewed seven minutes tastes bad, but even a 3-minute brew doubles the antioxidants in the cup compared to the typical 40-second brew. Adding milk and sugar doesn't affect the flavonoids. A small change can have a big impact on health.

Coming Up (00:38)

In the rest of the program, Cherry Healey will enlist a rugby team to help her test milk's unexpected powers. She'll investigate whether chocolate is addictive, and whether there is anything surprising in a bag of crisps (chips).

Egg Fanciers (02:32)

Eggs are a staple of the British diet, but even egg experts at a county fair think we should limit egg consumption because of cholesterol. An egg yolk has 50 mg of cholesterol, and high cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart disease.

Egg Challenge (02:13)

Cherry Healey goes on an eggy diet, consuming four eggs a day for two weeks. Dietitian Sian Porter will test the effect on her cholesterol, to see whether cholesterol in the food you eat affects cholesterol in your body.

Egg Diet Test Results (02:21)

Cholesterol is essential for making cells and hormones. HDL is the good cholesterol and LDL the bad cholesterol. After two weeks of eating four eggs a day, Cherry's LDL was up 8%, but still well within a healthy range. HDL was unchanged.

Fat is the Culprit (01:36)

The level of cholesterol in our blood is affected more by the fat we consume than by the cholesterol in our food. Saturated fat is what we should avoid. Eggs don't have a lot of saturated fat. There is no need to limit egg consumption.

Marvelous Milk (01:24)

Two out of three shopping baskets contain milk. Britain's biggest milk fans are in the southwest. People in Cornwall share their opinions about milk. Host Cherry Healey asks, "are we underestimating milk?"

Goodness in Milk (01:52)

Sports scientist Lewis James compares the nutrients in milk to other foods. Milk is crammed with vitamins and minerals. It contains protein, carbohydrates and fat. Milk is a very efficient drink.

Testing Milk's Benefits (02:01)

For an experiment to show how the combination of nutrients in milk has special benefits, Cherry Healey recruits rugby players, who say they prefer sports drinks. To test whether milk can help muscles recover from exercise, the players get a workout.

Milk vs. Sports Drinks (01:45)

After a workout, half of the rugby players drink milk, the other half a sports drink. Over the next two days they'll record how their muscles feel, and blood tests will measure muscle recovery. Strenuous exercise breaks down muscle protein.

Milk Aids Muscle Recovery (03:07)

The milk drinkers reported only half as much muscle soreness as those who drank sports drinks. Blood tests confirm milk drinkers' muscles recovered 50% better. Milk's combination of carbs and protein makes it a powerful aid to recovery after exercise.

In the Grip of Chocolate (02:41)

Cherry Healey goes to Glasgow to investigate chocolate. Can ingredients like cocoa, milk, caffeine, sugar, or fat produce physical addiction, or is there a mystery ingredient? She meets three chocoholics who are convinced it's addictive.

Testing the Effects of Chocolate (01:50)

Cherry Healey goes to Oxford to learn the effect of chocolate on our brains. Neuroscientist Dr. Kira McCabe uses an FMRI scanner to measure changes in Cherry's brain when she sees pictures of chocolate and when she tastes chocolate.

How Chocolate Affects the Brain (02:04)

Tasting chocolate affects the brain's pleasure centers, but so does seeing pictures of chocolate. Chocolate contains mild stimulants and compounds that can spark pleasure centers in the brain, but not enough to cause chemical addiction.

We Only Think We're Addicted (02:24)

Chocolate's melt-in-the-mouth feel and its sugar and fat make us feel good. We associate these feelings with the thought of chocolate, hence our cravings. We can use the thinking parts of our brains to overcome this. We can choose to say no.

Guilty Pleasure (01:49)

We have a love affair with salty snacks. Our #1 choice is potato crisps. We eat them even though we feel we shouldn't. Cherry Healey wants to find out if there are surprises lurking in a packet of crisps.

950 Bags of Crisps a Year (02:13)

The Smith family love their crisps. They are healthy and fit, so does it matter? In one year they consume eight wheelbarrows full of crisps, three times the national average. That's 10 liters oil and half a kilo of salt.

Crisps: An Honest Snack (02:54)

Dietitian Sian Porter shows that servings of many common foods contain the same amount of salt as five bags of crisps. The Smith's massive crisp intake is only equivalent to 6% of the recommended salt intake. Other foods have hidden salt.

Crisps a Source of Potassium (02:33)

Potassium is good for you. Bananas and broccoli are a good source. But crisps contain a surprising amount of potassium. An average packet contains 10% of the RDA. With all that fat and salt, crisps may not be good for you, but they're not all bad.

Closing Comments and Credits: Supermarket Sleuth (01:14)

Closing Comments and Credits: Supermarket Sleuth

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Supermarket Sleuth: Episode 1

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We’re used to hearing bad news about our food. What’s the good news? In this program, host Cherry Healey puts favorite supermarket staples to the test and uncovers the surprising secrets and unexpected powers of the food we take for granted. With the help of members of the public and a team of experts, she investigates how milk can help muscles recover from exercise; what effect the way we brew tea has on its health benefits; why there’s more to potato chips than meets the eye; how many eggs we can safely eat; and whether we really can be addicted to chocolate. Using science to sort fact from fiction, she sheds new light on the food we all eat. A BBC Production. (50 minutes)

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL52585

ISBN: 978-1-61753-416-4

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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