Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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What's the deal with green coffee?


Photo By: Sarah Manning/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Sarah Manning/Special To The Town Crier Ready for a break from the bold flavor of roasted beans? Green coffee may be for you.

If you visit Starbucks, browse the supplement aisle of Whole Foods Market or read popular health blogs, you may have noticed a new trend waltzing its way into view. Green coffee and its extract have arrived on the food scene, trailing behind them claims of natural energy and weight loss. So what’s the deal with this beneficial beverage, and should you be drinking it?

All coffee starts as raw, unroasted green seeds. Found in pairs at the center of red, cherrylike fruits, their flavor and quality improve as the fruit ripens. Once farmers harvest the ripe coffee berries, processing happens in one of two ways. Water processing to remove the seeds is quicker but wastes water through contamination. Drying the fruit takes a bit longer but has less impact on the environment. Seeds removed from the fruit using one of these methods are then dried. The result is green coffee.

The raw beans (actually seeds), now a pale-green color, have very little taste. Most coffees you see on the shelf or buy in cafes have been roasted to varying degrees to bring out the bold flavors and dark colors. Some traditional Arabic coffees include green coffee beans to temper acidity. But the coffee you and I are probably used to has been toasted to aromatic perfection.

Recently, Starbucks introduced a “Refreshers” beverage with “natural energy from green coffee extract.” Prompting customers to rethink how they re-energize, the website says processors pull natural caffeine and “other good stuff” from the beans to make an extract. This concentrated green coffee elixir mixes with fruit juices to create drinks. I’m left wondering, what’s the other good stuff?

According to greencoffee.org, the good stuff is antioxidants and health-promoting properties. In a 2011 study by Joe Vinson, chemist at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, green coffee extract promoted weight loss and lowered blood pressure in 16 participants over 22 weeks. Vinson advises taking multiple capsules of green coffee extract daily (while maintaining a healthful diet and exercise) to mimic the results.

TV’s Dr. Oz also claims green coffee extract can aid weight loss. He and Vinson suspect that a chemical called chlorogenic acid speeds metabolism. Chlorogenic acid is found in high quantities only in green coffee beans – roasting removes most of it.

But don’t run out and buy yourself a bottle of green coffee extract just yet. A health reporter for ABC News recommended erring on the side of caution when interpreting Vinson’s study.

It’s important to note that the study was only conducted once, so results have not been repeated. And although participants did not experience side effects during the 22 weeks of experimentation, longer-term implications of green coffee supplementation remain unknown.

Plus, green coffee is still coffee. According to the Starbucks website, a Venti-sized drink with green coffee extract contains 60-85 mg of caffeine. Compared to a shot of espresso with 40-75 mg of caffeine and a cup of regular brewed coffee at approximately 100 mg, green coffee can still stir up your morning buzz. If you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine, use caution when experimenting with green coffee extract.

Los Altos resident Sarah Manning blogs weekly about her culinary adventures. To read her food blog, visit www.thechocolatefigSF.com.

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