Tastes Nutritious

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Nutrition in the news – interesting articles from August 2013

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Here are some interesting articles that I came across in August 2013:

Article Title: ‘Gluten-free’ defined by the US food regulators

Date: 2nd August 2013

Summary:  US regulators have finally created a standard for products that carry a “gluten-free” label. The rule requires the products that contain a “gluten free” label to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This value has been selected because this amount does not make a person with coeliac disease ill.

Article Title: How Sleep Loss Adds to Weight Gain

Date: 6th August 2013

Summary: Numerous studies have shown that when adults and children are sleep deprived they eat more. Matthew P Walker’s findings suggest that a sleepy brain responds more strongly to cravings for junk food like chips and chocolate cake even if there is no hunger. However it also appears that a sleepy brain is less able to control these cravings which explains why people eat more when they are tired even if they are not hungry.

Article Title: Cocoa ‘Might Prevent Memory Decline’

Date: 7th August 2013

Summary: Neurology journal reported a study of 60 elderly people with no dementia found that drinking 2 cups of cocoa a day improved blood flow to the brain. The people who had improved blood flow to the brain also scored better on the memory tests at the end of the study. Cocoa is rich in flavanols which are thought to have played an important role.

Article Title: How Exercise Can Help Us Learn

Date: 7th August 2013

Summary: Many studies have shown that exercise can help learn better and remember more. In the latest study it was shown that women who exercised gently remembered more words than those who sat down while learning or those who learned after having completed their exercise. There is however a previous study in which subjects performed worse at an exam the following day if they were asked to exercise vigorously while learning materials. So it seems that the message in these studies is that exercise timing and intensity interact to affect memory formation.

Article Title: Rituals Make Our Food More Flavorful

Date: 9th August 2013

Summary: New research shows that rituals like eating oreo cookies by dunking them in milk enhance how much people savour what they eat or drink. Even seemingly little rituals like scraping wooden chopsticks together before eating enhanced enjoyment of the meal. These rituals have been shown to not just enhance the enjoyment of treats like chocolate but also tastes of vegetables like carrots.

Article Title: The Health Trade Offs of Entrepreneurship

Date: 8th August 2013

Summary: A new study conducted for the NY Times using data from their Well-Being Index concluded that nationwide entrepreneurs tend to eat more healthy foods and exercise more than other workers. However they are also likely to have more stress and are less likely to have health insurance. Compared with other full time workers, entrepreneurs were slightly more likely to report they “ate healthy all day yesterday” or report that they regularly eat more fruit and vegetables. 59% of entrepreneurs exercised for 30 minutes 3 or more times a week versus 54% of other workers.

Article Title: Research Consistently Finds Walnut Oil Effective Against Type-2 Diabetes

Date: 9th August 2013

Summary: A team of researchers at Harward School of Public Health revealed that consumption of walnut oil is significantly correlated to lower risk of type-2 diabetes in women. Their finding showed that eating walnuts is inversly associated with the risk of having type-2 diabetes.

Article Title: Eating Oily Fish ‘Halves Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk’  

Date: 12th August 2013

Summary: Experts believe that eating one portion of oily fish like salmon or mackerel a week reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Including fish in the diet is beneficial because oily fish is rich in omega-3s . Omega-3s protect both heart and the brain. Omega-3s are also believed to be a good anti-inflamatory agent which explains why they might help to combat arthritis.

Article Title: How Exercise Can help Us Sleep Better

Date: 21st August 2013

Summary: A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that at the end of the study the volunteers with insomnia who were exercising were sleeping much more soundly than at the start of the study. They slept on average 45 minutes to an hour longer on most nights and they did not wake up as often in the middle of then night. However on a day to day basis they did not always report they had better sleep after the exercise session.

Article Title: Broccoli Slows Arthritis, Researchers Think

Date: 27th August 2013

Summary: UK researchers believe that broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis. Broccoli compound which can also be found in Brussels sprouts and cabbage has been shown to block a destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. They have now launched a study where 20 patients were asked to eat a diet high in broccoli. The results from this study are yet to be received.

Article Title: Blueberries, not Fruit Juice, Cut Type-2 Diabetes Risk

Date: 29th August 2013

Summary: Recent study published in the British Medical Journal has found that eating more fruit in particular blueberries, grapes and apples cuts the type-2 diabetes risk. However drinking juice increases the risk of type-2 diabetes. Even though many experts ask to treat this study with caution, there is an agreement on the benefits of substituting juice in favour of whole fruit.

Article Title: Harvard Meta-analysis Provides More Evidence that ‘1st Line of Defence Against Weight Gain is to Reduce or Stop Drinking Sugary Drinks

Date: 29th August 2013

Summary: Harvard researchers Vasanti Malik and Walter Willet conducted an analysis of 200,000 adults and children and concluded that consumption of sugar sweetened beverages promotes weight gain. However it is not known whether the cause for the weight gain is because the sugary drinks contain so many extra calories or whether it is because the sugars are in a liquid form and therefore enter the body quickly.

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