Prosciutto Wraps Recipe and How to Evaluate Health-Related Information for Credibility Based on National Institutes of Health’s Criteria
My quest as the Olive Oil Hunter is to bring you the freshest olive oils possible, not only because of their intense and wonderful flavors but also because we know the freshest oils have the most polyphenols, those naturally occurring plant chemicals at the heart of the amazing health benefits of olive oil. How do we know this? We always turn to studies. But not just any studies. We use studies from trusted scientific sources, such as leading researchers at top institutions who do peer-reviewed work with vetted results.
In this issue of The Olive Oil Hunter Newsletter, I want to share some of the criteria from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that we use to evaluate the research on the benefits of olive oil and the other health studies that we share with you every week—you can use the very same criteria to judge any type of health information you read about, whether in print or online, on any topic.
Here’s what the NIH recommends:
“The internet makes finding health information easy and fast. Much of the information on the internet is valuable; however, the internet also allows rapid and widespread distribution of false and misleading information. You should carefully consider the source of information you find on the internet and discuss that information with your healthcare provider…[The following] can help you decide whether the health information you find on the internet or receive by email, text, or social media is likely to be reliable.
“Online resources such as web and social media sites should make it easy for you to learn who is responsible for the site and its information. On the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) website, for example, the ODS is clearly noted on every major page, along with a link to the site’s homepage.
“It costs money to run web and social media sites. The source of a website’s funding should be clearly stated or readily apparent. For example, the US government funds websites with addresses ending in .gov, educational institutes maintain .edu sites, [and] noncommercial organizations’ addresses often use .org.
“Many health and medical websites post information that the owner has collected from other websites or sources. If the person or organization in charge of the site did not write the material, they should clearly identify the original source. For social media sites, it is also important to consider whether the source of the information is reliable, that is, what is the background and expertise of the person posting the content?
“Websites should identify the medical and scientific evidence that supports the material presented on the site. Medical facts and figures should have references (such as citations of articles published in medical journals). Also, opinions or advice should be clearly set apart from information that is ‘evidence based’ (that is, based on research results).
“Health-related websites should give information about the medical credentials of the people who prepared or reviewed the material on the website. For example, the ODS website contains fact sheets about vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements. These documents undergo extensive scientific review by recognized experts from the academic and research communities.
“Experts should review and update the material on websites on a regular basis. Medical information needs to be current because medical research is constantly coming up with new information about medical conditions and how best to treat or prevent them. Sites should clearly post the most recent update or review date. Even if the information has not changed in a long time, the site owner should indicate that someone has reviewed it recently to ensure that the information is still valid.”
Remember that there are many government agency websites you can go to in order to check on health claims.
“The Food and Drug Administration (fda.gov) regulates foods, including dietary supplements. The FDA monitors the marketplace for potential illegal products that may be unsafe or make false or misleading claims. FDA publications that can help you evaluate health information include Tips for Dietary Supplement Users and Health Fraud Scams.
“The Federal Trade Commission [ftc.gov] enforces consumer protection laws, regulates dietary supplement advertising, and investigates complaints about false or misleading health claims posted on the internet.
“The Office of Dietary Supplements [ods.od.nih.gov] . . . supports research on dietary supplements, distributes the results, and provides educational material on dietary supplements . . . and other reliable health information.”
Adapted from “How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers,” National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, reviewed May 4, 2022.
- Prosciutto Wraps
As I settle into the dog days of summer, I plan my menus to get the most taste for the least amount of cooking, and these wraps fit that to a T. Thin slices of prosciutto are the perfect alternative to flour-based wraps—more flavorful and practically carb-free. I love the creaminess of the Brie and avocado “stuffing,” but you can roll up goat cheese and figs, cheddar and apple slices, mozzarella and tomatoes, or your own creative combination.
- 8 ounces Brie
- 2 ripe avocados
- 8 very thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Maldon or another coarse sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
Cut the avocados in half and use a spoon to carefully remove each half from its peel; cut the avocado into thin strips.
Cut the Brie into thin slices. Bundle 2 or 3 pieces each of avocado and Brie at one of the short ends of a prosciutto slice and roll it up. Repeat with the remaining prosciutto.
Place two wraps on each of four salad plates and drizzle with olive oil and a few drops of the balsamic.
Top with the salt and a grind of black pepper.
Yields 4 servings