Tag Archives: Nutrition

Rise Of Obesity: “Sugar – The Unsweetened Truth”

Obesity is at the root of silent epidemics such as type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Laura Schmidt explores the causes and solutions, taking lessons from tobacco: reducing the availability of harmful substances reduces consumption, thereby reducing harms to health. She talks about the UCSF Healthy Beverage Initiative and the effects it has had on employee health.

Website

Recorded on 02/13/2020. [5/2020] [Show ID: 35586]

Diet & Nutrition Health: Benefits Of “Turmeric And Chili Pepper” Spices (BBC)

From a BBC.com article by Jessica Brown (April 6, 2020):

Red chili, black pepper and turmeric at local market
Red chili, black pepper and turmeric.

“The major findings were that higher intake of spicy foods is related to a lower risk of mortality, particularly deaths due to cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases,” says researcher Lu Qi, professor of nutrition at Harvard’s school of public health.

Many researchers believe the health benefits of spices actually come from what we eat them with. For example, there’s a tendency to use them to replace salt, says Lipi Roy. “Spices make food delicious and flavourful, and they can be a healthier alternative to salt,” she says.

BBC Future logoSpices have been a part of our diets for thousands of years – it’s second nature to sprinkle our chips with pepper, sip on ginger tea and add chillies to our meals. But recently, some spices have been unofficially promoted from everyday culinary staples to all-healing superfoods.

Read full article

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

For more information

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.

Read full study

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.

Read full study

Nutrition Infographic: Harvard Unveils A “Healthy Eating Plate” As Guide For Balanced Meals

Harvard Healthy Eating Plate Infographic February 2020

 

Aim for color and variety, and remember that potatoes don’t count as vegetables on the Healthy Eating Plate because of their negative impact on blood sugar.

Whole and intact grains—whole wheat, barley, wheat berries, quinoaoatsbrown rice, and foods made with them, such as whole wheat pasta—have a milder effect on blood sugar and insulin than white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

Fish, poultry, beans, and nuts are all healthy, versatile protein sources—they can be mixed into salads, and pair well with vegetables on a plate. Limit red meat, and avoid processed meats such as bacon and sausage.

Choose healthy vegetable oils like olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and others, and avoid partially hydrogenated oils, which contain unhealthy trans fats. Remember that low-fat does not mean “healthy.”

Skip sugary drinks, limit milk and dairy products to one to two servings per day, and limit juice to a small glass per day.

The red figure running across the Healthy Eating Plate’s placemat is a reminder that staying active is also important in weight control.

The main message of the Healthy Eating Plate is to focus on diet quality.

  • The type of carbohydrate in the diet is more important than the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, because some sources of carbohydrate—like vegetables (other than potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans—are healthier than others.
  • The Healthy Eating Plate also advises consumers to avoid sugary beverages, a major source of calories—usually with little nutritional value—in the American diet.
  • The Healthy Eating Plate encourages consumers to use healthy oils, and it does not set a maximum on the percentage of calories people should get each day from healthy sources of fat. In this way, the Healthy Eating Plate recommends the opposite of the low-fat message promoted for decades by the USDA.

Website

Study: “Med-Diet” Alters Gut Microbiota, Lowers Frailty & Inflammation, Improves Cognition (BMJ)

From BMJ Journal “Gut” study (February 17, 2020):

BMJ Journal GUT Februrary 2020We observed that increased adherence to the MedDiet modulates specific components of the gut microbiota that were associated with a reduction in risk of frailty, improved cognitive function and reduced inflammatory status.

Objective Ageing is accompanied by deterioration of multiple bodily functions and inflammation, which collectively contribute to frailty. We and others have shown that frailty co-varies with alterations in the gut microbiota in a manner accelerated by consumption of a restricted diversity diet. The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is associated with health. In the NU-AGE project, we investigated if a 1-year MedDiet intervention could alter the gut microbiota and reduce frailty.

Design We profiled the gut microbiota in 612 non-frail or pre-frail subjects across five European countries (UK, France, Netherlands, Italy and Poland) before and after the administration of a 12-month long MedDiet intervention tailored to elderly subjects (NU-AGE diet).

Results Adherence to the diet was associated with specific microbiome alterations. Taxa enriched by adherence to the diet were positively associated with several markers of lower frailty and improved cognitive function, and negatively associated with inflammatory markers including C-reactive protein and interleukin-17. Analysis of the inferred microbial metabolite profiles indicated that the diet-modulated microbiome change was associated with an increase in short/branch chained fatty acid production and lower production of secondary bile acids, p-cresols, ethanol and carbon dioxide. Microbiome ecosystem network analysis showed that the bacterial taxa that responded positively to the MedDiet intervention occupy keystone interaction positions, whereas frailty-associated taxa are peripheral in the networks.

Conclusion Collectively, our findings support the feasibility of improving the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier ageing.

Read full study

Nutrition Studies: 70% Of U.S. Fast-Food Meals Are “Poor Dietary Quality”

“Our findings show dining out is a recipe for unhealthy eating most of the time,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author and dean of the Friedman School. 

At fast-food restaurants, 70 percent of the meals Americans consumed were of poor dietary quality in 2015-16, down from 75 percent in 2003-04. At full-service restaurants, about 50 percent were of poor nutritional quality, an amount that remained stable over the study period. The remainder were of intermediate nutritional quality.

BOSTON (Jan. 29, 2020, 9:00 a.m. EST)—The typical American adult gets one of every five Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy logocalories from a restaurant, but eating out is a recipe for meals of poor nutritional quality in most cases, according to a new study by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

menu-infographic_1280x850_Tufts University_1-29-20_Final(3)

Published today in The Journal of Nutrition, the study analyzed the dietary selections of more than 35,000 U.S. adults from 2003-2016 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) who dined at full-service (those with wait staff) or fast-food restaurants, which included pizza shops and what has become known as fast-casual. The researchers assessed nutritional quality by evaluating specific foods and nutrients in the meals, based on the American Heart Association 2020 diet score.

To read more about study

Weight Loss: Medical Review Of “Keto, Atkins, and Pritikin Diets” (JAMA)

JAMA Clinical Studies PodcastThere are many named diets that receive a great deal of attention. But what are they and do they work? David Heber, MD, PhD, from the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition explains these diets.