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March 2, 2008, 8:38 PM CT

How Do Dietary Guides Match Up?

How Do Dietary Guides Match Up?
Since advice about what to eat for optimal health has evolved over time with advances in nutrition science, dietary recommendations are sometimes seen as contradictory. However, a review of three leading dietary guides by scientists at the National Cancer Institute found their essential recommendations are consistent despite the different methodologies used to create the guides.

The NCI scientists compared recommendations and nutrient values of the United States Department of Agricultures MyPyramid; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes DASH Eating Plan and Harvards Healthy Eating Pyramid. The study showed that, even though the guides were derived from different types of nutrition research, they share consistent messages: Eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains; eat less added sugar and saturated fat; and emphasize plant oils.

Recommendations are similar regarding almost all food groups for both types and amounts of foods people should eat. Primary differences were seen in the types of recommended vegetables and protein sources and the amount of recommended dairy products and total oil. Overall nutrient values were also similar for most nutrients, except vitamin A, vitamin E and calcium.

The scientists conclude: The evidence base for optimal diets continues to evolve. However, inherent in these guides is a pattern of eating that focuses on nutrient-rich foods and limited calories from added sugar and solid fat.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


February 25, 2008, 9:28 PM CT

Link Between Obesity, Carbs and Esophageal Cancer

Link Between Obesity, Carbs and Esophageal Cancer
Cases of esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) in the U.S. have risen in recent decades from 300,000 cases in 1973 to 2.1 million in 2001 at age-adjusted rates. A new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology shows that these rates in the U.S. closely mirrored trends of increased carbohydrate intake and obesity from 1973-2001.

The study illustrates what may be a public heath concern as the composition of U.S. diets changes and total carbohydrate and refined carbohydrate intakes increase. Obesity is a risk factor for a number of types of cancer, and a diet that includes a high percentage of calories from refined carbohydrates is a common contributor to obesity. Carbohydrates were also unique in that no other studied nutrients were found to correlate with esophageal cancer rates.

The causes of esophageal cancer remain largely unknown. Despite recent advances in therapy, esophageal cancer has a poor prognosis. The five-year rate of survival for esophageal cancer remains below 20 percent and is the eighth-leading cause of cancer related death in American men.

"If we can reverse the trends in refined carbohydrate intake and obesity in the U.S., we may be able to reduce the occurence rate of esophageal cancer," says Dr. Li Li, senior author of the study.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


Wed, 13 Feb 2008 01:47:21 GMT

Cool Food: Pastel

Cool Food: Pastel
A Brazilian snack with crunch, the pastel is a tasty treat that's far too good to be ignored. It's too bad that it's not readily available on every street corner like we see in Sao Paulo, Brazil, because it's fantastic. A deep-fried shell of pastry dough envelopes tasty fillings such as a palm mix, shrimp, or a ground beef center peppered with onions and flavor.

This samosa-like snack is a must-try. Get the recipe over here!

Posted by: Meieli Sawyer Detoni      Read more     Source


February 10, 2008, 9:46 PM CT

Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain

Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain
Want to lose weight" It might help to pour that diet soda down the drain. Scientists have laboratory evidence that the widespread use of no-calorie sweeteners may actually make it harder for people to control their intake and body weight. The findings are reported in the recent issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Psychology experts at Purdue Universitys Ingestive Behavior Research Center reported that relative to rats that ate yogurt sweetened with glucose (a simple sugar with 15 calories/teaspoon, the same as table sugar), rats given yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharin later consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat, and didnt make up for it by cutting back later, all at levels of statistical significance.

Authors Susan Swithers, PhD, and Terry Davidson, PhD, surmised that by breaking the correlation between a sweet sensation and high-calorie food, the use of saccharin changes the bodys ability to regulate intake. That change depends on experience. Problems with self-regulation might explain in part why obesity has risen in parallel with the use of artificial sweeteners. It also might explain why, says Swithers, scientific consensus on human use of artificial sweeteners is inconclusive, with various studies finding evidence of weight loss, weight gain or little effect. Because people may have different experiences with artificial and natural sweeteners, human studies that dont take into account previous consumption may produce a variety of outcomes.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


February 6, 2008, 5:26 AM CT

Whole grain diets lower risk of chronic disease

Whole grain diets lower risk of chronic disease
Paul Helton, one of the study participants, examines whole-grain foods and the refined foods used in the research. The study found that diets with high amounts of whole grains may help achieve significant weight loss, and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Credit: Heather Katcher, Penn State
Diets with high amounts of whole grains may help achieve significant weight loss, and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as per a team of Penn State scientists at University Park and the College of Medicine.

"Consumption of whole grains has been linked to a lower body weight and lower blood pressure," said co-author Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State. "We thought that incorporating whole grains into a heart-healthy weight loss diet may provide the same benefits to people who are at risk from chronic diseases".

The scientists recruited 50 obese adults 25 male and 25 female between ages 20 to 65 and known to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

They were randomly assigned to either a group that received instructions to have all of their grain servings from whole grains or all of their grain servings from refined grains.

"We asked participants in the whole grain group to focus on foods that had whole grains as the first ingredient," said lead author Heather Katcher, a Penn State Ph.D. recipient and currently a dietetic intern at Tulane University.

Over the 12-week study period, all participants received the same dietary advice on weight loss, and encouragement to participate in moderate physical activity. Scientists also asked participants to consume five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy products, and two servings of lean meat, fish or poultry.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


January 17, 2008, 10:13 PM CT

Diet and lifestyle critical to recovery

Diet and lifestyle critical to recovery
Diet and lifestyle may play a much more significant role in a persons ability to respond favourably to certain drugs, including some cancer therapies, than previously understood, say scientists.

Writing in Nature Genetics, University of Manchester scientists have shown how the nutrients in the environment are critical to the fitness of cells that carry genetic mutations caused by diseases.

The findings for the first time provide a scientific insight into why some people might respond better to certain medications than others and form the foundations for more individualised drug treatment in the future.

The team used bakers yeast a model organism studied by biologists to reveal molecular processes in higher organisms to explore the relationship between environment and genetic background.

The large-scale study involved removing one of the two copies of all yeast genes similar to removing one parents set of genes in a human and analysing the resulting fitness under different dietary restrictions.

If the gene targeted is quantitatively important, you would normally expect the yeast to show a reduction in fitness, said Dr Daniela Delneri, who carried out the research in the Universitys Faculty of Life Sciences.

But what we found was that in certain environmental conditions, removing one copy of certain genes actually produced the opposite effect and surprisingly the yeast cells grew more quickly and were healthier.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


January 14, 2008, 3:32 PM CT

Lipoic acid could reduce atherosclerosis, weight gain

Lipoic acid could reduce atherosclerosis, weight gain
Lipoic Acid
A new study done with mice has discovered that supplements of lipoic acid can inhibit formation of arterial lesions, lower triglycerides, and reduce blood vessel inflammation and weight gain all key issues for addressing cardiovascular disease.

Eventhough the results cannot be directly extrapolated beyond the laboratory, scientists report that they strongly suggest that lipoic acid supplementation may be useful as an inexpensive but effective intervention strategy. reducing known risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis and other inflammatory vascular diseases in humans.

The findings were made by researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute and College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University, and the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. They were just published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

The study observed that lipoic acid supplements reduced atherosclerotic lesion formation in two types of mice that are widely used to study cardiovascular disease, by 55 percent and 40 percent, respectively. The supplements were also linked to almost 40 percent less body weight gain, and lower levels of triglycerides in very low-density lipoproteins.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


January 10, 2008, 10:46 PM CT

Health benefit of oats

Health benefit of oats
Oats
The first issue of Volume 2 (January/February 2008) explores the results of the Oats at 10 Years study, marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claim that oats, as part of an overall heart healthy diet, could lower the risk of heart disease. The article, written by Mark B. Andon, PhD, and James W. Anderson, MD, looks at the history of the first food-specific health claim, theorizing that foods containing whole-oat sources of soluble fiber (oats, oat bran, and oat flour) could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

This is an extremely important study, said the journals Editor, Dr. James M. Rippe, who is also a nationally renowned heart specialist, author, and authority on health, fitness and weight loss. It tracked the value of oat-based products and showed the connection between consumption and a healthier lifestyle. It is an outstanding benchmark.

Launched one year ago, AJLM is a bimonthly journal for practitioners seeking to incorporate lifestyle practices and activities into clinical medicine, emphasizing the interaction between traditional therapies and changes in lifestyle. In 2007, AJLM explored cardiovascular disease; stress/anxiety; pain/arthritis; diabetes/metabolic disease, and obesity, and will examine lifestyle interventions in children; metabolic syndrome; womens health; hypertension; mens health, and dyslipidemia in 2008.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


January 8, 2008, 9:20 PM CT

Trying to stay on a strict diet?

Trying to stay on a strict diet?
Repetition commonly makes people enjoy things less. Such satiation causes our favorites to lose their sheen, makes it hard to follow a diet, and pushes us to escalate our spending on novelty. Life has even been called a hedonic treadmill where we must find better and better experiences just to stay happy. However, new research from the recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research finds that paying attention to details can help us avoid becoming bored with the same old thing.

It has long been said that the devil is in the details. This research finds that the details may be the key to slowing the hedonic treadmill, writes Joseph P. Redden (University of Minnesota).

In one of three studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, Redden had participants eat 22 fruit-flavored jelly beans (cherry, orange, strawberry, peach, tangerine) while rating their enjoyment. At the end, participants were asked to indicate how well they could distinguish the flavors, how much they noticed the different flavors, how repetitive the eating task felt, how similar the jelly beans seemed to each other, and how much variety they perceived.

People given specific flavor labels (e.g., cherry) became less satiated and kept enjoying the jellybeans longer than people given the general label of jellybean, Redden reveals. In other words, though everyone ate the same variety of jellybeans, people who were just given jellybeans to eat as opposed to tangerine jellybeans and strawberry jellybeans gave lower assessments as the experiment wore on, though both groups rated the jellybeans about equally toward the beginning of the experiment.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


January 7, 2008, 11:17 PM CT

Help teens maintain normal weight

Help teens maintain normal weight
Adolescents who participate in physical education at school are more likely to maintain a normal weight as young adults, as per a research studyby scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For each weekday of physical education at school the odds of being an overweight adult decreased by 5 percent. Participation in all five days of physical education decreased the odds of being an overweight adult by 28 percent. The study is reported in the January 2008 edition of the journal, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

These findings underscore the important role that school-based and extracurricular physical activities play in reducing the likelihood of becoming an overweight adult, said Robert Wm. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD, the studys senior author. While physical education was not a good weight-loss mechanism over time, it appears to have a positive impact in helping teenagers maintain a healthy weight into young adulthood, added Blum, who is the Bloomberg Schools William H. Gates Sr. Professor and Chair in Population and Reproductive Health.

The Hopkins team studied 3,345 teens in grades eight through 12 who took part in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health at which time the teens were surveyed on their participation in physical education and physical activities outside of school. The scientists then followed up with the participants five years after leaving school to check their height and weight.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


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