Tag Archives: Diet

Obesity Study: “Late Night Snacking” Older Adults – Higher Fat Levels Than Early Eaters On Same Diet

From a PLOS Biology Journal study (Feb 20, 2020):

Snacking Before you sleep Keeps on the Fat PLOS Biology April 2020
Schematic: Late-evening snacking interacts with the circadian rhythm of metabolism to inhibit LO.

The major finding of this study is that the timing of feeding over the day leads to significant differences in the metabolism of an equivalent 24-h nutritional intake. Daily timing of nutrient availability coupled with daily/circadian control of metabolism drives a switch in substrate preference such that the late-evening Snack Session resulted in significantly lower LO compared to the Breakfast Session. 

Developed countries are experiencing an epidemic of obesity that leads to many serious health problems, foremost among which are increasing rates of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. While weight gain and obesity are primarily determined by diet and exercise, there is tremendous interest in the possibility that the daily timing of eating might have a significant impact upon weight management [13]. Many physiological processes display day/night rhythms, including feeding behavior, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, body temperature, and sleep.

PLOS Biology StudiesThese daily oscillations are controlled by the circadian clock, which is composed of an autoregulatory biochemical mechanism that is expressed in tissues throughout the body and is coordinated by a master pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain (aka the SCN [1,4]). The circadian system globally controls gene expression patterns so that metabolic pathways are differentially regulated over the day, including switching between carbohydrate and lipid catabolism [1,3,59]. Therefore, ingestion of the same food at different times of day could lead to differential metabolic outcomes, e.g., lipid oxidation (LO) versus accumulation; however, whether this is true or not is unclear.

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Medical Podcasts: A Clinical Review Of “The Pritikin Diet” (JAMA)

JAMA Clinical Reviews LogoNathan Pritikin was a college dropout who became an entrepreneur. While doing research for the government during World War II, he observed that populations that had extremely limited food availability because of the war had substantially reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease—something unexpected at a time when cardiovascular disease was thought to be due to stress. 

After the war when food became more available CVD death rates went back up, resulting in Pritikin concluding that CVD was related to diet. Pritikin devised his own very low-fat diet that bears his name and the diet is still in use 65 years later.

Health News Video: FDA Launches (And Explains) New Nutrition Facts Label

What’s new about the new Nutrition Facts label? Watch this Q&A with Susan T. Mayne, Ph.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 

New FDA Nutrition Facts Label March 2020

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Health Studies: “Spirulina” Improves Cardiovascular (CVD) Risk Factors, Aids In Weight Loss (BMJ)

From a BMJ Open Heart online study (March 8, 2020):

BMJ Open Heart JournalOverall, the evidence in the literature suggests that spirulina improves several well-established CVD risk factors including hyperlipidaemia and seems to provide benefits around weight loss. 

Although caloric restriction and exercise are the mainstay treatments for obesity, spirulina has shown significant benefits in aiding weight loss. The phycocyanin in spirulina contains a light-harvesting chromophore called phycocyanobilin, which is capable of inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH) oxidase, a significant source of oxidative stress in adipocytes playing a key role in inducing insulin resistance and shifting adipokine and cytokine production in hypertrophied adipocytes. Thus, by suppressing adipocyte oxidative stress, spirulina may lead to systemic anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitising effects.

BMJ Open Heart Journal Study of Spirulina Health benefits March 2020

Spirulina is both a salt and fresh water blue-green algae, which is being increasingly studied recently. Spirulina was initially classified under the plant kingdom due to its rich plant pigments and its ability to photosynthesize, but was later placed into bacterial kingdom (cyanobacteria) due to its genetic, physiological and biochemical makeup. Spirulina grows naturally in high salt alkaline water reservoirs in subtropical and tropical areas of America, Mexico, Asia and Central Africa.

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Studies: “Ultra-Processed Foods” Are 58% Of All Calories In U.S., & Obesity Epidemic’s Major Cause

From a The Guardian online article (Feb 12, 2020):

What characterizes ultra-processed foods is that they are so altered that it can be hard to recognize the underlying ingredients. These are concoctions of concoctions, engineered from ingredients that are already highly refined, such as cheap vegetable oils, flours, whey proteins and sugars, which are then whipped up into something more appetizing with the help of industrial additives such as emulsifiers. 

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From a MedPage Today online article (March 7, 2020):

The top ultra-processed foods by calorie intake were breads, beverages, cakes, Ultra-Processed Diet and Unprocessed Diet Infographiccookies and pies, salty snacks, frozen and shelf-stable dishes, pizza, and breakfast cereals.

Altogether, ultra-processed foods accounted for 58% of all calories in the U.S. diet and nearly 90% of all added sugars.

They divided foods into four categories:

  • Unprocessed or minimally processed foods: Fresh, dry, or frozen fruits or vegetables, grains, legumes, meat, fish, and milk
  • Processed culinary ingredients: Table sugar, oils, fats, salt, and other substances extracted from foods or from nature and used in kitchens to make culinary preparations
  • Processed foods: Foods manufactured with the addition of salt, sugar, or other substances of culinary use to unprocessed or minimally-processed foods, such as canned food, simple breads, and cheese
  • Ultra-processed foods: Formulations of several ingredients that — besides salt, sugar, oils, and fats — include food substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular, flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, and other additives used to imitate sensory qualities of unprocessed or minimally-processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product

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Diet Study: “Moderate Egg Consumption” Does Not Increase Cardiovascular Disease Risk (The BMJ)

From a BMJ Research online study (March 4, 2020):

BMJ Open Access logoWe found no association between egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in three large US cohorts. Results from the updated meta-analysis lend further support to the overall lack of an association between moderate egg consumption (up to one egg per day) and cardiovascular disease risk. 

One Large Egg Nutrition factsEggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol, but they are also an affordable source of high quality protein, iron, unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, and carotenoids.

Introduction: In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. Diet and lifestyle undisputedly play a major part in the development of cardiovascular disease. In the past, limiting dietary cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day was widely recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease. However, because of the weak association between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol, and considering that dietary cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern for overconsumption, the most recent 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans did not carry forward this recommendation.

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Diet Studies: “Eat Less, Live Longer” – Calorie Restriction Delays Age-Related Diseases (Salk)

Salk Institute logoEat less, live longer- If you want to reduce levels of inflammation throughout your body, delay the onset of age-related diseases and live longer—eat less food. That’s the conclusion of a new study by scientists from the US and China that provides the most detailed report to date of the cellular effects of a calorie-restricted diet in rats.

(Salk News, February 27, 2020)

While the benefits of caloric restriction have long been known, the new results show how this restriction can protect against aging in cellular pathways, as detailed in Cell on February 27, 2020.

Aging is the highest risk factor for many human diseases, including cancer, dementia, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Caloric restriction has been shown in animal models to be one of the most effective interventions against these age-related diseases. And although researchers know that individual cells undergo many changes as an organism ages, they have not known how caloric restriction might influence these changes.

In the new paper, Belmonte and his collaborators—including three alumni of his Salk lab who are now professors running their own research programs in China—compared rats who ate 30 percent fewer calories with rats on normal diets. The animals’ diets were controlled from age 18 months through 27 months. (In humans, this would be roughly equivalent to someone following a calorie-restricted diet from age 50 through 70.)

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