Archive for the 'Food effects' Category

Nuts lower cholesterol

 

Eating nuts may help lower cholesterol levels, US research suggests.

The review of 25 studies, involving nearly 600 people, showed eating on average 67g of nuts – a small bag – a day reduced cholesterol levels by 7.4%.

The US Loma Linda University team believes nuts may help prevent the absorption of cholesterol.

UK experts said the research showed nuts were an important part of a healthy diet, but warned against eating nuts covered in sugar or salt.

Previous work has indicated eating nuts regularly is beneficial, but the Archives of Internal Medicine study set out to put an accurate figure on the effect.

The effects of nut consumption were dose related, and different types of nuts had similar effects

Lead researcher Joan Sabate

The people involved ate 67g of nuts a day on average, over a period of three to eight weeks.

As well as improving cholesterol levels, it also reduced the amount of triglyceride, a type of blood fat that has been linked to heart disease.

more via BBC News – Eating nuts can lower cholesterol, say experts.

via Nuts lower cholesterol.

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The kitchen-counter diet

Can eating less be as simple as leaving serving dishes on the stove and off the table? According to a team of researchers from Cornell University, it can.

At this week’s Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, Calif., researchers led by Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, shared findings of their “Serve Here; Eat There” study of 78 adults.

“We looked at whether serving foods from the kitchen counter, instead of at the table, would reduce the number of times a person refilled his or her plate,” Wansink said.

“Quite simply, it is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind,'” he continued. “When we kept the serving dishes off the table, people ate 20% fewer calories. Men ate close to 29% less.”

The same strategy can be used to help increase the consumption of healthier foods, Wansink explained.

“If fruits and vegetables are kept in plain sight, we’ll be much more likely to choose them, rather than a piece of cake hidden in the refrigerator.”

Dining environment, plate and portion size, and other hidden cues that determine what, when and how much we eat are familiar topics in Wansink’s work. He is the author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

Provided by Cornell Food & Brand Lab

via New study: The kitchen-counter diet.

Phosphorous in sodas accelerates signs of aging

 

 

 

 

ScienceDaily (Apr. 26, 2010) — Here’s another reason to kick the soda habit. New research published online in the FASEB Journal shows that high levels of phosphates may add more “pop” to sodas and processed foods than once thought. That’s because researchers found that the high levels of phosphates accelerate signs of aging. High phosphate levels may also increase the prevalence and severity of age-related complications, such as chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular calcification, and can also induce severe muscle and skin atrophy.

“Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity,” said M. Shawkat Razzaque, M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. “Avoid phosphate toxicity and enjoy a healthy life.”

To make this discovery, Razzaque and colleague examined the effects of high phosphate levels in three groups of mice. The first group of mice was missing a gene (klotho), which when absent, causes mice to have toxic levels of phosphate in their bodies. These mice lived 8 to 15 weeks. The second group of mice was missing the klotho gene and a second gene (NaPi2a), which when absent at the same time, substantially lowered the amount of phosphate in their bodies. These mice lived to 20 weeks. The third group of mice was like the second group (missing both the klotho and NaPi2a genes), except they were fed a high-phosphate diet. All of these mice died by 15 weeks, like those in the first group. This suggests that phosphate has toxic effects in mice, and may have a similar effect in other mammals, including humans.

“Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. “This research suggests that our phosphorous balance influences the aging process, so don’t tip it.”

 Phosphorous in sodas and processed foods accelerates signs of aging, study suggests.

Brown rice and cardiovascular protection

from ScienceDaily

 ScienceDaily (Apr. 26, 2010) — Rice is generally thought to be a healthy addition to the diet because it is a source of fiber. However, not all rice is equally nutritious, and brown rice might have an advantage over white rice by offering protection from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”), say researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Physiology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

New research by Satoru Eguchi, Associate Professor of Physiology, suggests that a component in a layer of tissue surrounding grains of brown rice may work against angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is an endocrine protein and a known culprit in the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

The findings are contained in a study conducted by Dr. Eguchi and his colleague at the Temple lab, Akira Takaguri. The research team is also composed of Hirotoshi Utsunomiya and Ryohei Kono of the Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Wakayana Medical University, Wakayama, Japan; and Shin-ichi Akazawa, Department of Materials Engineering, Nagaoka National College of Technology, Nagaoka, Japan. Dr. Takaguri will present the team’s findings at the annual 2010 Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, CA on April 24-28. This presentation is sponsored by The American Physiological Society.

 

Brown Rice and Angiotensin II

 

The subaleurone layer of Japanese rice, which is located between the white center of the grain and the brown fibrous outer layer, is rich in oligosaccharides and dietary fibers, making it particularly nutritious. However, when brown rice is polished to make white rice, the subaleurone layer is stripped away and the rice loses some of its nutrients. The subaleurone layer can be preserved in half-milled (Haigamai) rice or incompletely-milled (Kinmemai) rice. These types of rice are popular in Japan because many people there believe they are healthier than white rice.

The Temple team and their colleagues at the Wakayama Medical University Department of Pathology and the Nagaoka National College of Technology Department of Materials Engineering in Japan sought to delve into the mysteries of the subaleurone layer and perhaps make a case for leaving it intact when rice is processed. Because angiotensin II is a perpetrator in such lethal cardiovascular diseases, the team chose to focus on learning whether the subaleurone layer could somehow inhibit the wayward protein before it wreaks havoc.

First, the team removed the subaleurone tissue from Kinmemai rice. Then they separated the tissue’s components by exposing the tissue to extractions of various chemicals such as ethanol, methanol and ethyl acetate. The team then observed how the tissue affected cultures of vascular smooth muscle cells. Vascular smooth muscle cells are an integral part of blood vessel walls and are direct victims of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

During their analysis, the team found that subaleurone components that were selected by an ethyl acetate extraction inhibited angiotensin II activity in the cultured vascular smooth muscle cells. This suggests that the subaleurone layer of rice offers protection against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. It could also help explain why fewer people die of cardiovascular disease in Japan, where most people eat at least one rice-based dish per day, than in the U.S., where rice is not a primary component of daily nutrition.

“Our research suggests that there is a potential ingredient in rice that may be a good starting point for looking into preventive medicine for cardiovascular diseases,” said Dr. Eguchi. “We hope to present an additional health benefit of consuming half-milled or brown rice [as opposed to white rice] as part of a regular diet.”

 Brown rice and cardiovascular protection.

Sugar, HFCS, and Agave Syrup

Probably more than you want to know about these sweeteners and your health but still important information.  This article is fully referenced at the original site.

From the Weston Price Foundation 

by Sally Fallon Morell and  Rami Nagel

…Both HFCS and sugar have approximately the same number of calories, both are pure carbohydrate and both are virtually devoid of vitamins and minerals. For this reason alone, HFCS should be strictly avoided. Since refined carbohydrates, sugar and HFCS included, tend to be addictive, it is difficult to follow the platitudinous advice of registered dietitians who urge us to consume them in moderation. In fact, the entire food industry has succeeded very well over the past thirty years in getting Americans to consume far more than moderate amounts of refined sweeteners, particularly high fructose corn syrup. Between 1970 and 2000, the per capita consumption of HFCS in the U.S. increased from less than one pound per person to over sixty pounds yearly.3

There can be no debate about the fact that both sugar and HFCS, with their empty, depleting, addictive calories, are bad for you. But the real question is whether HFCS is actually worse for you—more depleting and more damaging— than ordinary sugar. The research indicates that it is….

much much more via Agave Nectar: Worse Than We Thought.

The Granola Myth

Granola is rarely a healthy choice and the blog Fooducate explains why.

 

Breakfast cereal has been a wildly popular staple of our diet for over a century, but granola, both in a bowl or as a bar, is a much younger phenomena, dating back to the late sixties and the hippie movement. For some reason, a health halo has been shining on granola products for decades, allowing manufacturers to charge a premium. In many cases, the products sold  are not much better, or even worse than sugary cereals and candy bars.

What you need to know:

Here’s why granola’s health halo is not always justified:

1. More calories. While the average breakfast cereal is 100-120 calories, most granolas are 200-250 calories, twice as much. True, granola is much more dense than corn flakes or rice puffs, but if you are trying to cut down on your weight, beware.

2. Not so natural. Many “natural” sounding products are made up of the same ingredients as candy bars  – partially hydrogenated oils (read: trans-fat), artificial colors, and various preservatives. Quaker’s Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Granola has a megillah for an ingredient list, and includes goodies such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, BHT, and artificial flavorings.

3. Sugar. While many granola products names boast titles including “Honey Toasted” and “Maple Syrup”, the lead sweetener  is sugar, not the natural sweetener. And there’s lots of it. Take a look at Cascadian Farms Maple Brown Sugar Granola. Its second ingredient is sugar. Number 6 is brown sugar, and number 8 is Maple. All told, there are 14 grams of sugar per serving, or 3.5 teaspoons! That’s more than Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes.

What to do at the supermarket:

Watch out for the calorie count on your favorite granola cereal/bar. Inspect the ingredient list to make sure that sugar in its various names is not the predominant ingredient. Generally – avoid bars with long ingredient lists. A good bar or granola cereal should not be sweetened with anything but dried fruit and possibly some honey.

via The Granola Health Myth – Three Quick Thoughts | Fooducate.

9 Little Known Secrets to Living Past 90

Here is a solid list of ways to live healthier and longer.  Please note that with the exception of  Genes, the other eight “secrets” are ones that we can choose.

from the Nursetini blog

There are some secrets to living longer. Many scientists have studied those who live the longest, looking to find similarities. Here are nine secrets that can help you live past the age of 90:

DNA

  1. Genes: One of the factors that figures into longevity is your genetic make up. Even though non-genetic factors are involved in living longer, the presence of certain genes might actually boost your chances. It was also found that siblings of centenarians were four times more likely to live past the age of 90 than those who had no siblings live so long. But, even though genes can help, they aren’t everything. Indeed, some scientists believe that longevity depends more on non-genetic factors. So, even if your family doesn’t have a history of living past 90, it doesn’t mean you won’t. Just make sure you make up for it with healthier practices.
  2. eat fewer caloriesEat fewer calories: One of the biggest Americans have is that they eat too much. Of course, what Americans eat does make a difference, but they should be eating fewer calories in general. Indeed, eating too much, and gaining weight, puts strain on your heart — and that’s even before the arteries clog up and you have a heart attack. If you cut back on calories, you can extend your life. Indeed, research from the International Longevity Center – USA finds that animals fed fewer calories live about 40% longer than those fed a great deal more calories. JAMA suggests that you should eat 25% fewer calories than you are now, if you want a better chance of living to 90. So, consider how much you are eating, and consider reducing your portion sizes.
  3. Get your antioxidantsEat colorful fruits and vegetables: It’s not enough just to eat more fruits and vegetables. The kind of produce you consume matters. Vibrant fruits and vegetables are the best when it comes to living longer because they have antioxidants. These are nutrients that actually stop damaging “free radicals” from harming your cells. Colorful produce that you should focus on include cranberries, cherries, broccoli, spinach, red apples, spirulina, blueberries and grapes. You should aim for five servings of fruit and five of vegetables. Replacing one red meat entree a week with a veggie entree can be a good first step. You will find that dark chocolate and red wine, when taken in moderation, are also good for aging and the brain.  much more at the link

9 Little Known Secrets to Living Past 90.