14 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30
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Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
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One of the biggest diet and nutrition trends these days is intermittent fasting. Every week, I hear from listeners wanting to know my thoughts on it. I’ve mentioned intermittent fasting on the podcast before, in an episode on the health benefits of fasting. But that was way back in 2011. At that point, the research was still quite preliminary and most of it had been done in rodents. Nonetheless, researchers were excited about the potential for intermittent fasting to prevent or reverse diabetes, weight gain, DNA damage, and other artifacts of aging.
Based on these promising but preliminary results, lots of people started experimenting with various forms of modified or intermittent fasting—generating a lot of positive anecdotal reports. Over the last few years, more studies have been done—some of them on actual humans.
HOW DOES INTERMITTENT FASTING WORK?
Before I dip into the latest research, let me define some terms. Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that includes a pretty wide variety of approaches, most of which fall into one of two categories: alternate day fasting and restricted eating windows.
ALTERNATE DAY FASTING
Alternate day fasting involves switching back and forth between days when you eat more and days when you eat less. In some versions, you eat nothing or next to nothing on your fast days and as much as you want on your feast days. Other versions have you cut your usual food intake by a third to a half on your fast days and allow you to eat more than your usual food intake on your feast days. (This is sometimes described as calorie cycling.)
The proportion of fast to feast days also varies. Some protocols have you fasting every other day. Another popular variation is the 5:2 diet, where you fast for two non-consecutive days every week.
RESTRICTED EATING WINDOW
The other approach that’s commonly included in discussions of intermittent fasting is the restricted eating window. I talked about this in my episode on timing your meals. Instead of restricting your food intake, you restrict your meal schedule.
Again, there are lots of variations on this approach. Some people follow a four-hour eating window, essentially eating just one meal a day. Others might eat two or three meals within an eight or ten hour window. (If you’re a breakfast skipper, you might already be doing this without even realizing it!)
The Research on Intermittent Fasting
A lot of the current excitement about intermittent fasting is still based on some of those early animal studies, which found that intermittent fasting led to weight loss, improvements in body composition, blood sugar metabolism, and other exciting things—even though the rats were eating the same amount of food!
Unfortunately, the human studies haven’t been quite so dramatic. Intermittent fasting and restricted eating windows tend to lead to weight loss—but that’s because people following these regimens end up eating less. These approaches also can lead to improvements in body composition, cholesterol, and blood sugar metabolism but no more so than in people who lose weight through more traditional dietary approaches.
Although we keep hoping to discover a magic formula that allows us to lose weight without actually eating less, we haven’t found it yet. It still does come down to taking in fewer calories than you use. But there are a lot of approaches that result in reduced calorie intake. You can decide to avoid certain foods. You can eat everything but in smaller portions. You can fast once or twice a week and not think about it the rest of the time. You can institute a restricted eating window.
Is Intermittent Fasting a Better Way to Lose Weight?
All of these approaches have pros and cons and we can talk about how each can be optimized. But when it comes to which is best for losing weight and all the health benefits that flow from that, it really boils down to which one is the most sustainable for you. What suits your lifestyle personality and preferences? Because when it comes to weight loss, your ability to maintain a lower weight long-term trumps just about every other consideration.
But what if you don’t need to lose weight? Does intermittent fasting have anything to offer? A couple of studies have tried to tease apart the effects of meal timing from the effects of weight loss by doing studies where people ate just once a day but still ate enough to maintain their weight.
In particular, researchers were interested to test the hypothesis that eating the same amount of food but in a shorter time period would help improve blood sugar metabolism. Results so far have been mixed but if your goal is improve your glucose metabolism, early results favor putting your restricted eating window in the first half of the day and not the second—which most people find to be considerably less appealing.
The Bottom Line on Intermittent Fasting
We need to do a lot more research into the long-term effects of intermittent fasting on health and to sort out which of the various approaches produce the best results and for which people. There are a few groups for whom intermittent fasting may not be appropriate, including pregnant women and people with a history of eating disorders. Anyone using medications to manage their blood sugar should seek guidance from a nutrition or health professional before experimenting with any sort of fasting protocol.
But if you are not in any of those categories, you need to lose weight, then this might be something that can work for you. Despite the popularity of the 5:2 Diet, which is an alternate day fasting protocol, I am a little more drawn to the restricted eating window—in part because people seem to find it more comfortable and easier to sustain. If you decide to experiment—or you have been experimenting with it already—I’d love to hear how it’s working for you, what you like about it, and how long you’ve been doing it! You can post your thoughts below or on the Nutrition Diva Facebook page.
10 Foods that Help Prevent Acne
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Olive oil lotion absorbs into skin without clogging pores, allowing skin to breathe which in turn help prevent acne.
Watermelon is very useful for removing blemishes on the skin. It is rich in vitamins A, B and C and keeps the skin fresh, radiant and hydrated. It also prevents eruption of acne and remove scars and marks of acne.
Eating a balanced diet is the best way to have a healthy skin. Low-fat dairy product consists of vitamin A, which is one of the most important components of healthy skin.
Raspberries are a healthy as they are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. These are rich in phytochemicals that are protective of skin.
Yogurt has antifungal and antibacterial qualities, so it is useful for cleansing the skin and unblocking clogged pores.
Eating walnuts regularly help to improve the smoothness and softness of the skin. Walnuts oils contain linoleic acid, which helps to maintain the skin’s structure, keeping it watertight and well hydrated.
Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals etc. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
Apples contain lots of pectin and it is the enemy of the acne. So, remember to eat the skin too as pectin is mostly concentrated there.
Water carries nutrition and oxygen to your internal body, keeping organs nourished, vital, and fit to fight acne.
Almond Benefits: From Weight Loss To Improved Heart Health, 5 Reasons To Eat More Almonds
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Crunchy, nutty and delectable almonds are a treasure trove of essential nutrients. For most people, it is a common desi practice to start off day with a handful of soaked almonds. They are also a good source of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and potassium. Apart from this, they are also known to boost heart health, digestion, brain power and so much more. Almonds are used extensively to flavour our most decadent desserts but you can also include them in your weight loss-friendly smoothies, shakes or cereals to take the flavour a notch up.
Experts say it is better to have almonds raw and soaked. The peel tends to contain tannins, which may come in the way of nutrient absorption in the body. Soaking almonds also releases the enzyme lipase, which facilitates digestion of fats.
Here are 5 health benefits of almonds:
1. Boosts brain power: Almonds are a potent source of vitamin E. The antioxidant is very effective in supporting brain and also keeps your skin supple. Almonds are also replete with riboflavin and L-carnitine; these nutrients are linked to decrease occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and boost brain activity and cognition.
2. Sleep Inducing Properties: Struggling to catch some sound sleep? Try snacking on almonds. Almonds come loaded with tryptophan, a hormone that has a soothing effect on brain. They are also enriched with magnesium, which helps keep your heart rhythm steady.
Aids Weight Loss: Almonds are a good source of plant-based protein. Protein helps keep you satiated. It also helps regulate hunger hormone ghrelin and keeps a check on cravings. Almonds are a good source of dietary fibres too, which help facilitate digestion. A healthy digestion is key to weight loss. The monounsaturated fats present in almonds are also helpful in keeping you full for a longer spell, which further prevents overeating.
4. Support Heart Health: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, almonds when eaten in moderate quantity, are helpful in keeping the heart healthy. Almonds are also effective in reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) due to cholesterol-reducing fatty acids; such as oleic and palmitoleic acids.
5. Diabetes Management: Almonds are a good source of fibre, which enables slow release of sugar in the bloodstream. They also have very low glycaemic index or GI. Glycaemic index is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods depending on how they affect blood glucose levels. Foods with low GI index take time to get digested and metabolise, which enables gradual release of sugars.
High Sugar Cereal Ads May Up Obesity And Cancer Risk Among Kids
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Exposing your children to TV ads about high-sugar cereals may influence their food intake, which runs health risks for obesity as well as cancers, says a latest study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
The study revealed that high-sugar cereals are heavily promoted during programmes aired for children on TV. It is natural for kids to demand for the same brands and excessive consumption of the same may put them at threat.
Led by a team from the Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, US, the study suggested that children’s eating habits tend to develop during the preschool years. The findings also suggested that children who are overweight by the age of 5 are likely to remain overweight into adolescence and adulthood too.
It is very important to inculcate good eating habits in children right at the start. Poor eating habits like eating not enough fruits and vegetables or eating too much sugar, can lead to obesity, a known risk factor for 13 cancers, the study noted.
“One factor believed to contribute to children’s poor quality diets is the marketing of nutritionally-poor foods directly to children,” said Jennifer Emond, from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre.
“Brands specifically target children in their advertising knowing that children will ask their parents for those products.”
For the study, the team included preschool-age children to see how exposure to TV ads for high-sugar cereals influences kids’ subsequent intake of those advertised cereals.
The team purchased an advertising database. They also counted brand by brand the cereal ads that aired on the children’s TV network programmes each child watched. They also noted response of parents who were asked about the shows their kids watched and what cereals their kids ate in the past week, every eight weeks, for one year.
The researchers said that efforts must be made by concerned authorities to support and promote quality diets at a young age to help children understand the importance of healthy diet and reduce risk of chronic diseases.
“There are policy-level actions that could be implemented to reduce children’s exposure to food marketing and to improve the quality of the foods marketed to kids. And we as parents have the choice to switch to ad-free TV for our children and for ourselves,” Emond noted.
Will I Always Face The Threat Of A Peanut-Laden Kiss Of Death?
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Whenever I see a report touting possible new peanut allergy treatments, I devour it. I can’t help it. It’s an occupational hazard for any health journalist whose reporting specialty and medical history intertwine.
I write about the business of health care, focusing on how consumers interact with the system — what we pay, what we get and why American care costs so much. But in this particular instance, I have another kind of authority: 26 years of life-threatening allergies to nuts and peanuts.
So last month, when California-based Aimmune Therapeutics sparked optimistic headlines after releasing clinical trial results that its allergy product, AR101, would reduce the risks linked to an accidental exposure to peanuts, I received the usual wave of questions from friends, co-workers and my parents: Would you try it? Could this help?
Aimmune is just one company eyeing the prize. Childhood peanut allergy diagnoses increased more than 20 percent in the United States from 2010 to 2017. The global market for relief is worth as much as $2 billion. The French drugmaker DBV Technologies is also working to commercialize a peanut allergy patch. Other companies, including industry giant Sanofi, are following their lead.
If any one of them succeeds, it could change my life.
My friends call nuts “Shefali poison.” My allergies first surfaced when, as a 15-
month-old, I picked Thai noodles off an aunt’s plate and developed hives on my face, and then a few months later when I tasted my mom’s kaju barfi – an Indian dessert with cashews – and ended up in the hospital. Nobody in my family had ever heard of peanut allergies.
I’ve carried epinephrine since I was 7 years old. My friends are trained to inject it in my leg, the standard procedure for an emergency allergen exposure. though I luckily haven’t had to take a shot of it since I was 4. (Another child in my Montessori class had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.)
My mom also recalls another incident when she had to pick me up early from day care because the class was making peanut butter bird feeders. And I spent too many years of pre-adolescence eating lunch at the designated “peanut-free table.” Now, I can only dream of flying to visit my parents for Christmas without worrying about whether my seatmate’s snacks might induce anaphylaxis. And yes, kissing someone who has just eaten peanut butter would put my life in danger.
But are these pills and patches a true breakthrough for people like me?
I approached the question as I would any other assignment. I read the research, called immunologists, and spoke with economists and drug pricing experts about whether these treatments offer meaningful benefit.
One of the first things I heard: “We are still in the infancy of these treatments,” said Dr. Corinne Keet, a pediatric allergist at Johns Hopkins University.
Medically, there’s a lot we don’t know about the risks, how much these drugs could help and how long any effects would last.
“None of these treatments have been shown to prevent fatal reaction,” Keet emphasized.
The idea behind them is to desensitize people. Aimmune’s “peanut pill” is modeled on the oral therapies some specialists use to wean allergic kids back on to nuts. This approach has gained popularity in recent years, especially for children with multiple allergies, or when it’s a substance particularly hard to avoid.
A colleague’s young daughter, who was born with multiple allergies, used that very treatment, as did a younger cousin of mine who, for the first several years of her life, was allergic to — not joking — almost everything but fruits and vegetables. In my case, this therapy came into vogue after I was too old to have a good chance of it weakening my sensitivities.
How it works: Kids ingest tiny, escalating doses of peanut protein. They then stay on peanut protein — Aimmune recommends the pill, though other doctors I spoke to suggested a little bit of peanut — as a maintenance drug.
But it’s unclear how much the new therapies would improve upon that ad hoc oral immunotherapy allergists are already offering. Instead of drugs, they use store-bought peanut protein, usually de-fatted peanut flour available online for as little as $1 a pound. This method isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and often isn’t covered by insurance — though doctors’ visits can be billed as “food challenges” or other visits that are typically covered.
In contrast, Aimmune’s product is expected to cost between $5,000 and $10,000 for the first six months of use, and $300 to $400 per month after. Analysts predict DBV’s will cost more than $6,000 for a year’s supply, though the company says it has not yet determined a price. DBV, Aimmune’s chief rival, has come up with a wearable skin patch that would transmit tiny, desensitizing protein doses. It declined to estimate a price, but it does not view oral immunotherapy as a competitor, said Joseph Becker, a company spokesman.
“There’s excitement, there’s caution and a lot of unanswered questions,” warned Dr. Erwin Gelfand, a pediatrics and immunology professor at the University of Colorado.
According to Aimmune’s results, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, two-thirds of allergic children could ingest 600 milligrams of peanut without harm after going through treatment.
To be clear, even with Aimmune’s help, someone like me still couldn’t safely eat PB&J. But it would desensitize me enough that I could taste a friend’s wine even if he recently ate pad thai.
Still, the treatment comes with caveats.
While 496 children started the trial, only 372 completed it. Of the 20 percent who backed out, half did so because of adverse events. About 14 percent of kids getting treatment still had to take epinephrine, and one experienced
anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that can involve rashes, vomiting, a tightening throat and difficulty breathing. (For an allergic kid, even the possibility is maybe one of the most terrifying things you can imagine.)
Children who completed the regimen still had to take small doses of peanut protein daily, either the Aimmune drug or a controlled peanut serving. Statistically significant benefits were clear only in patients through age 17, though Dr. Daniel Adelman, the company’s chief medical officer, said Aimmune plans to do a follow-up trial for adults.
And the results don’t indicate who is likely to benefit, or how long improvements would last. That’s impossible to know, Adelman said, though he suggested accidental peanut exposure is scary enough — and pure avoidance ineffective enough — that the treatment is still worth it.
But all this means that anyone who has gone through Aimmune’s regimen would still want to carry epinephrine, and try to avoid peanuts.
“Not everybody responds well,” Gelfand said. When you factor in those details, the results are “not all that impressive,” he argued.
Dr. Tina Sindher, a pediatric allergist at Stanford University, pointed out that the Aimmune pill is a repackaged, clinically tested version of that homegrown oral therapy many allergists have already been using. DBV’s peanut patch, Viaskin, to a lesser extent, is the same — more convenient, perhaps, and more regulated, but still a variation on the existing medical approach.
“This concept has been around for a long time,” she said.
What’s new is the addition of labor, standardization and federal oversight — which companies then say demonstrates increased value.
It highlights a pattern I’ve noticed from my reporting: Drugmakers develop medication that refines a low-tech remedy, run a clinical trial to secure FDA approval, and then sell it at a higher price. For pharma, it’s a logical way to profit. But it puts patients in a bind.
“The hard outcome is we have these new products and they’re just about as good or slightly better than what we have,” said Nicholson Price, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Law School, who studies drug pricing. “And they’re a lot more expensive.” He noted: “That’s when the choices get hard, and we’re not good at making hard choices.”
Also skeptical? The closest authority I know: my mother, who raised me with peanut allergies when they were more or less unheard of, and is now doing it all over again for my 10-year-old brother. (My other brother, my twin, was allergy-free until about a year ago.)
“It’s not worth it,” my mom told me. Her concern? Getting any of us to maintain a peanut dose — without knowing how long that reduced sensitivity would last — could induce what she called “a false sense of security.”
This thinking isn’t out of line, Sindher suggested. The way these studies are touted, she said, often “gloss over the fact that there’s a lot we don’t know.”
So for now, I’ll have to maintain my distance from the newsroom stash of Reese’s Pieces. My epinephrine and I aren’t parting ways anytime soon.
KHN’s coverage of children’s health care issues is supported in part by theHeising-Simons Foundation.
Healthy Eating for Blood Sugar Control
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If you have diabetes, a healthy eating plan for you is not that different from a healthy eating planfor people withoutdiabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) echoes the dietary guidelines recommended for the general public — that is, a diet centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (peas and beans), and low-fat dairy products.
However, you’ll want to pay special attention to your carbohydrate intake.
Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains provide more nutrition per calorie than refined carbohydrates and tend to be rich in fiber. Your body digests high-fiber foods more slowly — which means a more moderate rise in blood sugar.
For most people with diabetes, carbohydrates should account for about 45% to 55% of the total calories you eat each day. Choose your carbohydrates wisely — ideally, from vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Avoid highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as candy, sugary soft drinks, and sweets. Refined carbohydrates tend to cause sharp spikes in blood sugar, and can even boost triglycerides and lower helpful HDL cholesterol.
Fiber comes in two forms: insoluble fiber, the kind found in whole grains, and soluble fiber, found in beans, dried peas, oats, and fruits. Soluble fiber in particular appears to lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity, which may mean you need less diabetes medicine. And a number of studies suggest that eating plenty of fiber reduces the chances of developing heart disease — and people with diabetes need to do all they can to lower their risk.
‘Don’t Wash That Bird!’ And Other (Often Unheeded) Food Safety Advice
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Rinsing chicken or turkey before cooking it is an ingrained step for many home cooks — passed down through generations and reinforced by cookbooks. Recipes like the “Perfect Roast Chicken” in 1999’s “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” advise cooks to “Rinse the chicken inside and out.” But that doesn’t reflect the science.
To wash or not to wash? That’s a question home cooks ask experts at the USDA Meat and Poultry hotline a lot around the holidays.
Or they don’t ask — and end up dispersing food pathogens all over their kitchens, increasing the very risk of foodborne illness they are trying to avoid.
Consumers should rinse their fresh fruits and vegetables with cold water, but not raw poultry, meat or eggs, according to the experts.
For decades, the Department of Agriculture has been advising against washing raw poultry and meat.
“People are still shocked when we tell them” not to wash poultry, said Marianne Gravely, one of USDA’s food safety educators. “Back in the early ’90s we were saying that.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne pathogens sicken an estimated 48 million Americans every year, putting 128,000 in the hospital and killing 3,000.
Washing chicken won’t remove many bacteria, said Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor in North Carolina State University’s agricultural and human sciences department. But it can spread germs to hands, work surfaces, clothing and nearby utensils or food — a process called cross-contamination.
“That washing process can really only increase risk,” he said. “All I really can do is control it through cooking.”
Cooking is the only way to kill pathogens like salmonella and campylobacter. Consumers should use a food thermometer to ensure meat and poultry reach a safe minimal temperature: 165 degrees for poultry; 160 degrees for ground meats; 145 degrees for steaks, chops, roasts, fresh or smoked ham, fish and shellfish.
Don’t rely on your cookbook for temperature settings. A 2017 study co-authored by Chapman found that of nearly 1,500 recipes in New York Times Bestseller cookbooks, only 8 percent included an endpoint temperature and a third of those gave an incorrect one based on USDA guidelines.
Two other steps in safe food handling — separation and cleaning — help prevent cross-contamination.
Keeping raw meat and poultry separate from fresh produce in your grocery bag, in your refrigerator and during food preparation also minimizes cross-contamination.
Food safety experts recommend washing anything used in food preparation including counters, cutting boards and utensils in hot, soapy water. And washing your hands properly — with soap for 20 seconds — before and after preparing food “can really prevent the contamination of other things,” Gravely said.
Chapman and his colleagues at NC State are collaborating with the USDA and RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, to investigate how pathogens are transferred around kitchens. Preliminary results from the first of a multiyear study showed that participants spread bacteria from raw meat to spice containers, refrigerator handles and even salads.
Shelley Feist, executive director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education, said her organization plans to work with cookbook writers and editors to incorporate more guidance for safe food handling.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends rinsing fresh fruits and vegetables with cold running water. Washing can remove more bacteria from fruits and vegetables than from meat, but there’s still a limit to how much.
“Pathogens are just so small and the surface of produce is so creviced,” Chapman said, “that the pathogens do a really good job attaching and hiding where water can’t even get to.”
Some produce, such as bagged lettuce and spinach, is clearly labeled as already washed and does not need to be washed again, the FDA says. Washing those vegetables or fruits again won’t reduce the number of pathogens any further and could spread bacteria around the kitchen.
The FDA advises consumers to avoid detergents or soaps when washing food because they can leave behind a residue and can affect taste. There are no FDA-approved food cleaners on the market, and the agency hasn’t found anything to be more effective at removing bacteria than cold running water.
“There are a lot of myths out there that if I wash, I can wash the pathogens off,” Chapman said. “You can wash a little bit off, but not enough to significantly reduce your risk.”
Because consumers eat a lot of fruits and vegetables raw, the risk of contracting a foodborne illness from contaminated lettuce or cantaloupe is greater than from properly cooked chicken.
“With meat and poultry, there is a kill step, but it’s cooking — it isn’t rinsing,” said Feist. “With raw fresh produce, there’s always going to be some risk. You can’t wash it away.”
Two Daily Servings of Dairy: Good for your Heart?
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People whose daily diets include at least two servings per day of milk, yogurt, or cheese appear to have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, or death than people who don’t consume dairy products.
The findings, published Sept. 11, 2018, in The Lancet, were based on food questionnaires from more than 136,000 people from 21 countries. After a follow-up that lasted an average of nine years, researchers found that adults who consumed two or more servings of dairy each day had a 22% lower risk for heart disease, a 34% lower risk for stroke, and a 23% lower risk of heart-related death. Observational studies such as this one cannot prove cause and effect. But dairy-based foods contain vitamins D and K, calcium, and other nutrients thought to be good for cardiovascular health. The findings support the benefits of all types of dairy, including full-fat versions. However, current guidelines still recommend nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, which contain fewer calories and less saturated fat.
How Safe are Probiotics?
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Amid the increasing rise of probiotic use in Western society, a recent journal article asks whether we should evaluate the products’ safety with a little more scrutiny.
or millennia, humans have consumed foods rich with live bacteria.
Yogurt, for instance, dates back to at least 5000 B.C., and in Korea, kimchi — fermented vegetables — has also been consumed for thousands of years.
Today, however, live microorganisms are added to a range of products advertised as providing a wide array of medical benefits.
Creative marketing and a general fascination for gut bacteria have combined to create a huge market for probiotics.
Perhaps surprisingly, to sell a product that contains live microorganisms there is no legal requirement to provide evidence that it works or, importantly, that it is safe.
An article published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine argues that this is a dangerous state of affairs. The piece was written by Dr. Pieter A. Cohen from the Cambridge Health Alliance at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.
The state of the evidence
Dr. Cohen begins by outlining the proven benefits of probiotics. For instance, Saccharomyces boulardii has been shown to help treat some types of diarrhea in children and reduce recurrence of Clostridium difficile infections in adults.
In spite of the specific cases mentioned, he argues that the strains used in foods and supplements have not been proven to benefit health and neither have they been shown to be safe.
Manufacturers claim that probiotics help maintain respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, and psychological health. However, Dr. Cohen writes that “[d]espite the advertised indications, there are no large, long-term clinical trials proving that probiotics offer clinical benefits for people who are already healthy.” He continues:
“[W]idespread use, particularly among people who are healthy, has greatly outpaced the science.”
For instance, a comprehensive review of relevant literature published earlier this year concluded that “[t]he feasibility of probiotics consumption to provide benefits in healthy adults requires further investigation.”
In other words, there may be benefits, but the evidence simply does not exist to definitively say either way.
Despite this, manufacturers are legally permitted to tell consumers that their products “support the immune system” or “boost digestive health.” Perhaps even more worryingly, they are not required to add information regarding potential adverse effects.
What are the possible dangers?
Over the years, dozens of case reports have underscored the potential hazards of probiotic supplementation. Risks include fungemia and bacteremia — the presence of fungi or bacteria in the blood, respectively.
Individuals with compromised immune systems are most at risk, including the very young and old. These organisms have evolved to infect, after all.
Because many probiotic trials do not report adverse events sufficiently, the exact scope of this problem is not known.
Aside from the risk of opportunistic infections sparked by probiotic consumption, there is the potential threat of low quality and contaminated products.
Although the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have stringent safety rules for the manufacturing of supplements, these are not always followed.
According to Dr. Cohen, an inspection of 656 facilities in 2017 found “violations in more than half.” He continues:
“These violations were not trivial: Most commonly, companies had failed to establish the identity, purity, strength, or composition of their final product.”
This potential threat is brought into stark focus by the case of an 8-day-old infant who developed a fatal fungal infection following the use of a probiotic supplement that had been contaminated with fungi.
As Dr. Cohen notes, although following FDA regulations more closely would help reduce the risk of product contamination, it would still not ensure that the probiotic itself was entirely safe.
The author ends his article by calling for more stringent controls from the FDA. He writes:
“The agency should […] require manufacturers, as Canadian authorities already do, to provide the specific strain or strains, and the number of live microorganisms per serving, on every bottle of probiotic supplements.”
He also urges them to introduce extra safety testing, focusing especially on “potentially transferable antibiotic resistance genes.” As it stands, we do not know how consuming bacteria with an array of new genes might impact antibiotic resistance now or in the future.
Dr. Cohen’s take-home message is clear and concise:
“Consumers and physicians should not assume that the label on probiotic supplements provides adequate information to determine if consuming the live microorganism is worth the risk.”
Published by: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323921.php
Healthy Eating Guidelines For People with Early Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Stages 1 and 2
Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs about the size of a fist. You have two kidneys, one on each side of your spine just below your rib cage. Your kidneys have three main functions:
- To remove extra water from your body.
- To get rid of waste products from food and the normal breakdown of your body’s tissues.
- To make some hormones.
If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) your kidneys slowly stop working properly over several months or years. There are five stages of chronic kidney disease. At each stage the body is less able to get rid of extra water and waste.
In the early stages (1 and 2), your kidneys do not function normally, but they work well enough that you probably do not feel unwell. At this point, you do not need to change your diet very much. The main goals are to eat healthy foods and to be at a healthy weight. This will help your kidneys function better for longer.
Many people who are diagnosed with kidney disease also have heart disease and/or diabetes. If this is the case for you, it is important to follow the right diet to help control these conditions and to prevent more loss of kidney function. Your doctor and dietitian can help you with a diet to manage all of your health conditions.
If your kidneys continue to lose function (stages 3 to 5), your doctor may advise you to make more changes to your diet. Your doctor and a dietitian who are familiar with your medical history will work closely with you to find the best diet for you, based on how your kidneys are working at that time. There is no one diet that is right for everyone with kidney disease.
Steps You Can Take
- Follow a healthy diet based on “Eating Well with Canada‘s Food Guide” at www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canada-food-guides.html. Use the food guide to choose the number of servings for each of the four food groups, based on your age and gender. This will help you eat healthy, balanced meals and snacks to meet your nutritional needs.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you are overweight, aim for a slow gradual weight loss of ½-1 kg (1-2 lbs) per week. Losing weight will help slow the loss of kidney function and help control blood pressure.
- Being underweight can make you more likely to develop complications from kidney disease. If you are losing weight or having trouble eating, speak to your doctor or dietitian as soon as possible.
- If you are not sure if you are at a healthy weight, use Health Canada‘s “Body Mass Index (BMI) Nomogram” at www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/healthy-weights/canadian-guidelines-body-weight-classification-adults/body-mass-index-nomogram.html. For tips on healthy weight loss, see the fact sheets “Lifestyle Steps for Healthy Weight Loss: Taking Action” listed in the Additional Resources section below.
- Get enough protein, but not too much. Protein is important for building and repairing body tissues, healing wounds and fighting infection. Not eating enough protein may cause muscle loss and malnutrition, but eating too much protein may lower kidney function.
- Use “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide” to plan your meals and snacks. This will help you get the right amount of protein. It is important to choose the recommended number of Food Guide Servings each day and to pay attention to the suggested portion sizes.
- Protein is found mainly in foods from the Meat and Alternatives and Milk and Alternatives food groups.
- Adults should get 2 servings (women) or 3 servings (men) of Meat and Alternatives each day. Examples of one serving are: 75g (2 ½ oz) meat, fish or poultry; ¾ cup cooked beans, lentils or tofu; 2 eggs; or ¼ cup nuts or seeds.
- Adults should get 2 servings (adults 19-50 years) or 3 servings (adults over 50 years) of Milk and Alternatives each day. Examples of one serving are: 1 cup milk or soy beverage; ¾ cup yogurt; or 50g (1 ½ oz) cheese.
- Limit sodium to 2300mg per day. This amount is recommended to prevent or manage high blood pressure, and to avoid swelling in your hands and feet. For information about how to limit sodium, see the Additional Resources section below.
- You do not usually need to limit fluids in stages 1 and 2 of chronic kidney disease. If you notice swelling of your hands or feet, talk to your doctor.
- You do not usually need to limit potassium and phosphorus in stages 1 and 2 of chronic kidney disease. Potassium and phosphorus are minerals found in a variety of foods.
- In the early stages of kidney disease, there is no evidence that taking vitamins, minerals or herbs is helpful, and it may be harmful. The amount in a multivitamin/mineral supplement is fine. Before taking any natural health product, you should check with your doctor or dietitian.
- Be smoke free. To get help to quit smoking, call or visit QuitNow at 8-1-1 or www.QuitNow.ca, or talk to your doctor.
- Be careful with alcohol. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you can drink alcohol. If your doctor says it is okay to drink alcohol, limit it to no more than 2 standard drinks per day for men and no more than 1 standard drink per day for women. A standard drink is equal to:
- 12oz (341mL) of beer (5% alcohol)
- 5oz (150mL) of wine (12% alcohol)
- 1.5oz (45mL) of liquor (40% alcohol)
- Exercise regularly. If you have not been active recently, check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines suggest that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. Start slowly, and accumulate activity in 10 minute blocks throughout the day. Moderate physical activity includes walking briskly, cycling, dancing, and swimming. Vigorous physical activity includes running and tennis. For more information see the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines at www.csep.ca/home
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DASH Diet may Lower Stroke Risk
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Following a diet designed to lower your blood pressure may also reduce your odds of having a stroke, according to a study in the April issue of the journal Stroke.
The study relied on data from diet questionnaires from more than 74,400 people ages 45 to 84. Researchers created scores based on how closely the participants followed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, a plant-focused diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, and nuts. The diet has long been touted for its ability to lower blood pressure, which is one of the leading risk factors for stroke.
After a follow-up that lasted an average of nearly 12 years, researchers found that people who more closely followed the DASH diet had a lower risk of ischemic stroke. (About nine in 10 strokes are ischemic; they occur when a clot obstructs a blood vessel supplying the brain.) In addition to lowering blood pressure, the DASH diet may also help prevent stroke by discouraging the buildup of fatty plaque inside arteries, thanks to the diet’s low levels of saturated fat and cholesterol coupled with high levels of antioxidants from plant-based foods.
4 Ways to Eat your Way to Lower Cholesterol
Many people can lower cholesterol levels simply by changing what they eat. For example, if you are a fan of cheeseburgers, eating less meat (and leaner cuts) and more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can lower your total cholesterol by 25% or more. Cutting back on saturated fat (found in meat and dairy products) and trans fat (partially hydrogenated oils) can reduce cholesterol by 5% to 10%.
Here are four steps for using your diet to lower cholesterol.
- Stick with unsaturated fats and avoid saturated and trans fats. Most vegetable fats (oils) are made up of unsaturated fats that are healthy for your heart. Foods that contain healthy fats include oily fish, nuts, seeds, and some vegetables. At the same time, limit your intake of foods high in saturated fat, which is found in many meat and dairy products, and stay away from trans fats. These include any foods made with “partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Get more soluble fiber. Eat more soluble fiber, such as that found in oatmeal and fruits. This type of fiber can lower blood cholesterol levels when eaten as part of a healthy-fat diet.
- Include plant sterols and stanols in your diet. These naturally occurring plant compounds are similar in structure to cholesterol. When you eat them, they help limit the amount of cholesterol your body can absorb. Plant sterols and stanols are found in an increasing number of food products such as spreads, juices, and yogurts.
- Find a diet that works for you. When a friend or relative tells you how much his or her cholesterol level dropped after trying a particular diet, you may be tempted to try it yourself. If you do, and after a few months you discover that you’re not getting the same benefits, you may need to chalk it up to genetic and physiological differences. There is no one-size-fits-all diet for cholesterol control. You may need to try several approaches to find one that works for you.
Eggs and Heart Health
Eggs are a staple ingredient in my fridge. I use them in my baking and I sometimes eat them for breakfast. Over the years, however, I would often hear many mixed messages about their health benefits such as that eating too many eggs would raise your cholesterol. Because of this, I would often limit how many I eat. That said, I was interested to read a recent study (1) in which researchers found that eating an egg a day may lower cardiovascular disease risk. Researchers of this study, which included over 400,000 adults in China, found that those participants who consumed up to less than one egg per day had an 18% lower risk of cardiovascular disease death compared to those participants who do not consume eggs.
According to an article (2) in the Harvard Health Letter, Dr. Anthony Komaroff, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, asserts that an egg a day does not increase your risk for a heart attack. Dr. Komaroff believes it is wise for individuals with diabetes or at high risk for (or already have) heart disease to consume no more than 3 eggs per week. Further, he describes that while eggs were known for having lots of cholesterol which can increase cardiovascular disease risk, research has shown that most of our body’s cholesterol comes from our liver and not what we eat. Research has also found eggs to have many healthy nutrients that are good for the body. Finally, Dr. Komaroff describes the importance of considering the other foods one eats with their eggs, such as foods with saturated fat like butter, bacon, or muffins that can raise blood cholesterol more than eggs themselves.
Published by: https://upstream.mj.unc.edu/category/nutrition-2/
The Keto Diet:Healthy or Unhealthy?
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It seems like every couple of years a different diet fad takes the world by storm, often touting weight loss and/or a host of health benefits, and the ketogenic keto diet is no exception. This latest diet trend has produced quite the buzz in recent years for its potential weight loss benefits, but the verdict seems mixed on just how healthy this diet may be.
The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. This includes eating foods such as meats, cheeses, eggs, fish, and oils, and avoiding foods such as breads, fruits, starchy vegetables, and sugars. Carbohydrates provide our bodies with glucose that gives us energy. By consuming less carbohydrates, our bodies are forced to turn to fats as a source of energy, placing our body in a state of ketosis.
While the keto diet has only recently made headlines, it has actually been used for nearly a century as a sort of last medical resort for treating individuals with epilepsy, particularly children. However, while beneficial for these individuals, it may not necessarily benefit those with other health conditions. Further, it is still unknown what the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet are.
In an interview with Plant Based News, Dr. Kim Williams, former President of the American College of Cardiology, claimed that, while it may offer short-term weight loss, the keto diet offers limited health benefits. Furthermore, in a recent study by Seidelmann et al. (2018), researchers found that low-carbohydrate diets that relied on animal proteins and fats were associated with greater risk of death. As Dr. Marcelo Campos, lecturer at Harvard Medical School, describes, the keto diet can include heavy red meat and unhealthy foods that are fatty and processed. Further,the keto diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies given its high-fat diet. Ultimately, Dr. Campos suggests that individuals engage in long-term, sustainable change, consuming a balanced, unprocessed diet as opposed to a short-term diet like the keto diet.
Yogurt: A Health Food Packing Stealthy Sugar
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It seems as if everyone is always trying to find foods that are both nutritious AND delicious. Recently, it seems as if yogurt has become many people’s go-to option. Yogurt is praised for its nutritious profile: it’s high in protein, calcium, and healthy probiotics. While all this remains true, it’s important to consider the looming sugar content within these products.
A new study is criticizing many popular yogurts for their deceptively high sugar contents. Within the study ” which examined over 900 yogurt brands found in UK grocery stores ” only 9% of general yogurts can be considered low in sugar. What’s worse, only a measly 2% of yogurts marketed exclusively to children can be classified as low sugar.
Along with these findings, it became apparent that products marketed as organic may be among the worst offenders. Organic is a term used to described the processes behind a food’s production. Although items which are USDA Organic Certified may be produced ethically, this label does not have specific nutrition implications. Despite this, people often think an organic product is healthier than a non-organic option. The study found quite the opposite: that organic yogurts have substantial amounts of sugar, especially when compared to their natural and Greek yogurt counterparts.
As a snack, yogurt is not a bad choice. The health benefits prevail, and it often beats out many other sugary snack options. But when picking out your next yogurt at the store, it’s worthwhile to pause and consider the varying sugar contents. This way, you can pick the healthiest option or just call it dessert.
Published by: https://upstream.mj.unc.edu/category/lifestyle/
How to Eat to Protect Your Heart
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Believe the food hype. It really does make a difference if you eat heart-healthy meals. Simple tweaks to your diet can have big benefits whether you want to prevent future problems, already live with high cholesterol or blood pressure, or have heart trouble like atrial fibrillation.
Focus on lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains to get long-term benefits for your ticker and your waistline.
Stick to the Basics
A crash diet may work if you’re trying to fit into a new outfit by next month. But if you want to improve your heart health, cycling through different fad diets won’t help.
Meal plans that rule out one type of food, whether it’s carbs or fat, don’t work either. Instead, take a sensible approach.
A study of more than 42,000 healthy women shows that those who ate meals that emphasized veggies, lean meats, grains, and low-fat dairy were 31% less likely to die in the next 6 years than women with unhealthy diets.
Overeating will make you gain weight, but that’s not all. Studies show that more people have heart attacks after big meals.
Watch out for restaurant portion sizes. The CDC says the amount of food in an average restaurant meal today is like four restaurant meals from the 1950s. Studies show that the bigger the portion you’re served, the more you’ll eat.
The solution? Get in the habit of eating only half of what’s on your plate. You can take the rest home.
Favor Whole Grains and Fiber
What’s so special about whole grains? They help control your blood sugar, which lowers your chances of getting diabetes. That’s important because diabetes raises your risk for heart disease.
People who eat a lot of whole grains tend to weigh less, too. Go for whole wheat breads, brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, cornmeal, barley, and rye. Another benefit is that whole grains help lower LDL cholesterol. That’s the bad kind that contributes to heart attacks and strokes.
Fill up on fiber.It absorbs fat while you digest your food and cuts down swelling in your arteries. It also helps you control your weight because it makes you feel full faster. Besides whole grains, other good sources include fruit, veggies, nuts, and beans.
Choose Meats Wisely
Red meat is usually high in saturated fat, which may be bad for your heart. That doesn’t mean you have to banish it from your diet. Just be savvy. Look for lean cuts like sirloin, flank, rump roast, and tenderloin, and always trim the fat. Or choose pork tenderloin, turkey, or chicken breast instead.
Add more fish to your diet. You probably know it’s good for you, but not all fish is equal. Deep-fried cod doesn’t count. Grill or roast fish that’s high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines.
Think that a smoked turkey sandwich is a healthier choice than a burger? Don’t be so sure. Deli meats are often packed with salts, nitrates, and preservatives that can be bad for your heart. Whole chicken breasts and in-house roasted turkey are better.
You probably need to cut back. Most people do. Aim for no more than a teaspoon a day. If you already have high blood pressure, you should eat even less.
Most Americans think sea salt is a low-sodium alternative to regular table salt. Wrong. It has the same amount of sodium. Any type of salt raises your blood pressure.
Salt doesn’t just come from the shaker. Up to 75% of the salt you eat is from processed foods like soups and frozen meals. Always check the label to find out how much sodium is in it.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
If you have atrial fibrillation, caffeine and other stimulants can trigger symptoms. Drink them in moderation.
Studies show that drinking modest amounts of alcohol, not just wine, has heart benefits. But don’t assume that if a glass is good, a jug must be better. More than one drink a day for women or two for men raises your odds for heart problems. It drives up blood pressure and can trigger irregular heartbeats in people with atrial fibrillation.
Watch Vitamin K
If you take a blood-thinning medicine like warfarin (Coumadin), the drug doesn’t work as well when you also have higher levels of vitamin K. Some veggies with it are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Greens including collard, mustard, and turnip
If you eat these foods, keep the amount that you have about the same from day to day. Before you add any vitamin K foods to your diet, talk to your doctor. You may be able to introduce small amounts slowly.
How to get more fiber in your diet
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To reduce your risk of getting diverticulitis, you should try and add high-fiber foods to each meal. Aim for up to half your plate to contain some fiber-rich food.
However, be careful about eating a lot of fiber at once. Overdoing it can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps as your gut bacteria try to process all the new fiber. These problems go away after a while as your digestive system gets used to the higher fiber levels, but you can avoid them by adding extra fiber gradually to your diet. For example, try to add just one more serving of a high-fiber food to your daily diet for a week, then see how your body feels. Give yourself another week, if needed. If everything is okay, add another daily serving for a week. Continue this pattern until you reach your daily quota of fiber.
Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids each day about 16 ounces of water, four times a day. Increasing the water you drink can help fiber pass through your digestive system and avoid stomach distress.
Here are some additional tips that can help you make the transition to a higher-fiber diet.
- Eat a minimum of three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day,the five-a-day recommended by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. What does that look like? In general, one serving is a single piece of fruit or a half-cup of raw fruits or vegetables, or a cup of leafy greens.
- Include fruits, vegetables, or both with every meal. For instance, include fruit with breakfast and as a snack, and vegetables with lunch and dinner.
- Eat pulses (the seeds of plants in the legume family), such as beans, lentils, and peas, at least three times a week.You can include them either as a plant-based protein in meatless dishes, or as the starch side in place of grains. For example, you could have fish on a bed of lentils rather than rice.
- Rely on nuts, seeds, and fruit for snacks.Or add them to other items like yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and stir-fries.
- Replace refined grains like white rice with whole grains like brown rice, wild rice, or bulgur. For pasta, look for versions made from quinoa or pulses like chickpeas and lentils.
- Check nutrition fact labels for the amount of dietary fiber. Aim for at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
Do you know the facts about fats?
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You may have seen stories in the media recently on fats in our diet; saturated, unsaturated and trans to be precise – with studies offering new information on what we can and can’t eat and how much is ok.
One newspaper even said that perhaps people should take health warnings with a pinch of salt as there are so many studies and so much conflicting information out there.
It’s true that mixed messages can be confusing which is why I want to offer some clarity on what the official recommendations are. These have remained in place for some time and are based on evidence.
The official UK recommendation for overall consumption of all fats is no more than 35% of your daily calorie intake. Within this, saturated fats should form no more than 11% and trans fat no more than 2% of your daily calories. Unsaturated fats should replace some of the saturated fats in our diets to reduce the risk of heart disease.
As a nation we are meeting the overall fat and trans fat advice but exceeding the saturated fat recommendation which ultimately has a negative impact on our health.
Saturated fat is mainly found in animal sources of food, so meat and dairy products. Foods such as butter, pies, cakes, biscuits, fatty cuts of meat, sausages, bacon, cheese and cream tend to be high in saturated fat. However palm and coconut oils are increasingly finding a place in our food, and although both nut oils they are high in saturated fats, and indeed coconut oil contains more saturated fat that butter!
These foods can be eaten occasionally in small amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet. However, as a nation, we are eating too much saturated fat, far exceeding official health recommendations.
As mentioned previously, saturated fat should form no more than 11% of your daily calories. That’s around 20 grams a day for women and 30 grams for men. Children should consume even less. However as a nation we get 12.6% of our energy from saturated fat.
This is worrying, as the evidence shows that too much saturated fat in the diet raises blood cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Too much fat in the diet can mean too many calories leading to weight gain and obesity which significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
With 62% of the population being overweight or obese, it is important that we cut back on calories, and one way to do this is to cut down on foods with saturated fat in our diet.
Of course dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt, form part of a healthy diet. But they too can be high in saturated fat so it’s important to make healthier choices and go for lower fat options. Try to check nutrient labels and colour coding on food packaging and choose options with more greens or ambers.
Unsaturated fat, that is monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, is found in plant foods and fish. Examples of foods high in unsaturated fats are:
- oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel,
- nuts and seeds,
- sunflower and olive oils,
- some fruit and vegetables, such as avocados.
As part of a healthy diet, we should try to cut down on foods and drinks high in saturated fats and trans fats and replace some of them with unsaturated fats. Within this, it is recommended that we eat two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily fish. This is because the scientific evidence tells us that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol, which can decrease your risk of heart disease.
The majority of trans fat in UK diets comes from natural sources in meat and milk.We know trans fats are harmful to health, but in the UK average consumption is already well within maximum recommended levels and is falling.
This is thanks to the efforts of food manufacturers and retailers to remove artificial trans fats from their products. The majority of processed foods in the UK no longer contain them.
A recent Canadian study published in a British health journal highlighted the dangers of trans fats even in small quantities, but this is a far greater issue in the USA where trans fats are still used in a number of processed foods.
So in a nutshell, we are eating too much saturated fat and should swap foods high in saturated fat for those with unsaturated fats. Trans fats are harmful but not a problem in the UK as they are rarely used in processed foods.
Let’s Meat in the Kitchen: Preventing the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance through Safe Handling of Meat and Poultry Products
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Food poisoning has become a blanket term for any time we don’t feel great after we eat something. It’s actually a foodborne illness caused by parasites, viruses, or bacteria that people are exposed to through contaminated meat. If meat isn’t handled, prepared or cooked properly, you could be putting yourself (and anyone you cook for) at risk. Food contaminated with bacteria can get you sick, but it can also spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria to your body.
Some bacterial causes of foodborne illness include:
We’ve been hearing a lot about antibiotic resistance resulting from overprescription and misuse in medicine. However, about 1 in 5 antibiotic-resistant infections External link are caused by bacteria transmitted through food and animals. Antibiotics are often used in food animals to compensate for overcrowding and dirty living conditions, resulting in rampant misuse and overuse of the drugs in food production. In fact, 70 percent of medically important antibiotics sold in the United States (meaning those identical or belonging to the same class as antibiotics used in human medicine) are sold for use in food-producing animals, not people.
This overuse of antibiotics in food animal production can cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria to thrive within the animals. Dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread from farms to people through direct contact with animals, by farm runoff into waterways, and on contaminated meat and poultry products. In other words, resistant bacteria can spread to you.
Antibiotic-resistant infections are no joke.According to the CDC External link , Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.
But, now for the good news. There are steps you can take to protect yourself. We worked with Dr. Lance Price External link, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center External link at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, to create a video to show you how you can keep yourself and your family safe from exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that may be present on meat and poultry products. In the video we show you how to safely handle and prepare raw meat products.
This video includes health recommendations that may not apply to you. Please consult with a healthcare professional for your personal health needs.
Here are some ways we can protect ourselves and our families from exposure to harmful bacteria on meat and poultry products:
- Buy the right products. Look for the sell by date as well as the following labels:
- Animal Welfare Approved
- American Grassfed
- Certified Humane
- Global Animal Partnership Certified
- No antibiotics ever
- No antibiotics administered
- USDA Organic
- Raised without antibiotics
- Practice proper handling of meat and poultry from the time you buy it to the time you eat it.
- When buying meat and poultry, wrap it in plastic bags
- Keep it separate from other foods in the grocery cart and in the refrigerator
- Store meat on the lowest rack in the fridge, away from fresh produce
- Thaw meat and poultry in the refrigerator, not the countertop
- Be aware of your hand and surface areas and utensils that come into contact with meat and poultry as you prepare it.
- When handling raw meat, wash your hands frequently in warm water with non-antibacterial hand soap for at least 20 seconds
- Don’t wash the meat, as this only spreads bacteria further
- Wash your food preparation areas and utensils after every use
- Cook to a proper temperature to kill bacteria
- Make sure you give your kitchen a safe and thorough clean up
- Clean all utensils and cutting boards
- Wash your hands again vigorously for 20 seconds
- Store cooked meat within two hours
Crash or Dash- Choosing the Right Diet
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We’re often told that in order to keep our hearts healthy we should maintain a healthy weight. Many people try to do this by dieting, but do diets really make us healthier?
New research has emerged that meal replacement crash diets (typically consuming only 600 to 800 calories each day) can temporarily worsen heart function . This means that if you have heart problems, these diets could actually make your health worse instead of better. If you’re looking for a healthy way to lose weight, you may want to check out the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute’s DASH diet.In January, U.S. News and World Report ranked the DASH diet as the best overall diet plan for the eighth year in a row . The DASH diet also claimed first place in the healthy eating and heart disease prevention categories.
If you feel like dieting, stop and ask yourself why you’re doing it. If you’re trying to get your heart in shape, you may want to rethink that overly restrictive diet.
The Dangerous Chemicals Found in Fast Food and Restaurants
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Two years ago,Ami Zota External link studied fast food consumption in the United States and found that as millions of people are eating fast food outside their homes, they’re also ingesting harmful chemicals.
Called phthalates, this class of chemicals is linked to infertility, pregnancy complications, diabetes, obesity and cancer. They’re found in plastics, lotions, cosmetics, personal care products, vinyl flooring, and other common household items. But they’re also found in the gloves, boxes and plastic wrap used to prepare food.
The 2016 study External link revealed that those who reported eating more fast food were exposed to as much as 40 percent more phthalates than those who ate at home in the span of 24 hours. Grain-based foods, including bread, cake, pizza, burritos, rice, and noodles, and burgers and other meat were the most significant contributors to phthalate exposure.
According to Zota, ScD, MS, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, these findings were especially worrisome because of the number of serious health concerns associated with exposure to phthalates.
In March 2018, Zota and other researchers published the findings of a broader study that examined the phthalate levels of those who ate different types of food away from home. This included restaurant food, cafeteria food and fast food.
Can Changing My Diet Help My Dry Eye?
If you’re looking to boost your eye health and help your eye symptoms, focus on these key nutrients.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Filling up on these can ease the scratchy, stinging irritation of dry eye. Specifically, omega-3s help soothe inflammation in your eyelids or on the surface of your eye. They may also help your tears do their job better.
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Go for one of these oily varieties at least twice a week:
- Tuna (fresh, not canned)
You can also get omega-3 fatty acids from:
- Nuts and seeds (like flaxseed)
- Vegetable oil
- Green, leafy vegetables
You may also need to take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Talk to your doctor about it before you try one.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These two antioxidants cut your odds of having many chronic eye diseases. Among other things, they help keep the cells in your eye healthy and working well. You can get them by eating eggs, corn, and leafy greens like:
A supplement may help here, too. Still, talk to your doctor before you take one.
Best sources of vitamin C include:
- Orange juice
- Grapefruit juice
- Cooked spinach
Women should aim for a minimum of 75 milligrams a day, which is about a cup of orange juice. Men need a little more — around 90 milligrams a day.
- Wheat cereal (wheat germ)
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanut butter
- Sweet potato
This is an important mineral that helps get vitamin A from your liverto your retina to make something called melanin. That’s a pigment that protects your eyes. When you don’t get enough zinc, your eyes are at a higher risk of infection.
Your body doesn’t make zinc naturally, so getting it through food is important.
Hunger and malnutrition are major global nutrition issues that affect the health and development of populations. These states can arise from financial disparities as well as natural disasters. For example, when countries experience severe droughts that wipe out crops, famine can result and greatly affect populations at large. While food aid exists to help alleviate the burden associated with these situations, malnutrition is still a serious public health issue, particularly in overpopulated, low-income and low-resource countries. It is estimated that international hunger rates are rising and that children are largely affected with over 155 million children suffering from stunting . Paradoxically, while malnutrition still exists in many countries, international rates of overweight/obesity are skyrocketing. In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that roughly 39% of adults over the age of 17 were overweight . About 13% of the population is obese. These findings leave public health professionals with two challenges: 1) increasing food access among populations at risk for malnutrition and 2) promoting weight management at a populations level. In addition to these problems, public health professionals encounter the challenge of creating a substantial impact on large populations with limited financial capital and resources. Public health professionals must be intentional about choosing the best approaches to public health issues. I believe the most effective strategy for reducing overweight/obesity involves using media to promoting healthy dietary choices and behaviors. In particular, mass media campaigns and marketing regulations can be used to influence populations nutritional behaviors and food purchasing patterns.
The Best Time of Day To Eat Breakfast, According To A Nutritionist
If I hear “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” one more time, I’ll scream. I get it.
But here’s the thing: knowing when to eat that all-important meal is really tricky. Is it bad if I don’t eat breakfast until I get to work, because the idea of eating right when I wake up makes me queasy? If I sleep in on Saturday, have I somehow missed out on the optimal breakfast time? And if I’m a morning workout person, when the hell do I eat? (I don’t really want to have eggs and bacon before I hit the treadmill.)
I have so many questions.
SO…DOES IT ACTUALLY MATTER WHAT TIME YOU EAT BREAKFAST?
Yup. When you eat is just as important as what you are eating, says Philadelphia-based registered dietitian Theresa Shank. She recommends eating within two hours of when you wake up.
Eating within this window sets the pace for a healthy appetite and stabilized blood sugars throughout the day,explains Shank. When your blood sugar gets out of whack, it often triggers hanger, cravings, and over-eating a.k.a avoid at all costs.
And breakfast does actually jump-start your metabolism. Once we’re awake, our bodies need to speed up and break out of a fasted state,??¢ she adds.
The two-hour breakfast window is mostly true for everyone. However, if you have a health condition like diabetes, having stable blood sugar levels is even more important. In that case, you’ll want to make the window between waking and breakfasting shorter aim for eating within an hour of waking up to keep glucose levels in balance, says Maya Feller, R.D., of Maya Feller Nutrition in Brooklyn, New York.
WHAT IF I’M GOING TO THE GYM?
The question of whether to eat before you go comes down to how your body reacts to exercising after eating. If you plan to workout in the morning, you need to identify if you perform better fed or fasted,says Feller.
For instance, if eating a simple pre-workout piece of toast leaves you clenching your stomach midway through Spin, then it’s probs best to wait until you’re done. If finishing your weight workout on an empty stomach makes you dizzy and distracted, then you’re going to need a bite before you go. (Some simple carbs from half a banana can help power you through without feeling super-full.)
This can take some experimentation but don’t get too stressed about it. In general, it’s a good idea to eat within one to two hours pre- or post-workout, says Shank.
BUT I HATE EATING IN THE MORNING…
You should still eat something. (Sorry!) Skipping breakfast is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. And skipping a meal in general can cause brain fog, lower blood sugar levels, and a slower metabolism.
No one’s asking you to sit down to eggs, bacon, pancakes, and a pot of coffee every day. Just a little something is important. Drink a glass of water when you wake up to hydrate, says Shank, then grab something easy to take with you (like a Greek yogurt cup, hard-boiled egg, or a piece of fruit). Eating something small will help your body adjust to the idea of eating in the a.m., Shank says helping make daily breakfast a regular routine.
Now go slay the day. You’re ready.