FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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Green Tea and Weight Loss?

All forms of tea are probably the most consumed beverage in the world, next to water. Tea contains an abundance of a class of phytochemiclas called polyphenols considered to be powerful antioxidants.  Polyphenols protect cells from what is referred to as “oxidative stress” caused primarily by an overproduction of  free radicals that have the potential of cell and DNA damage, implicated in the most common “killer” diseases of civilization namely heart disease and cancer.

There is some research on the benefits of green tea in weight loss; however, the results are mixed. Whether green tea plays some role in weight reduction or not, nearly everyone would benefit from tea consumption whether it is black, white, red, or green varieties.

Check out a previous post on the topic of polyphenols HERE.

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Best Diets?

It is time for the U.S. News and World Report diet issue again. Rated by nutrition “experts,” this year the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet hold honors as most popular.  There are couple of “new” diets on the list this year. Conventional wisdom? The best diet is one that can become part of your lifestyle rather than following some gimmicky or faddish approach.

Bon appétit

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Is the Ketogenic Diet Just Another Fad?

The ketogenic (keto, for short) diet is being promoted more and more in the media, especially on the Internet. CLICK HERE for more information on this “fad” diet which was published on this blog a couple of months ago. Also read a cautious and critical approach by Dr.David Katz, M.D.,M.P.H. HERE.

 


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Taxes on Meat?

We already have soda taxes in place to attempt to cut down sweetened beverage consumption. Now it has been proposed by some that in the future we need to begin to look at the impact of meat consumption on our health as well as the environment.   CLICK HERE.

For a previous post on another perspective on this topic, CLICK HERE.


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Pesticides and Fertility

 

Strawberries provide lots of good nutrition and can be cancer fighters.

Pesticide residues may not be that important for everyone; however, women who are trying to become pregnant may want to be careful when choosing fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, some recent reports have found that pesticides may also adversely  affect the brains of growing fetuses and young children.

You may want to choose organic versions of some of the most contaminated. Organic produce may still contain some pesticide residues but would certainly be better choices under  these circumstances. In these cases, you may want to consult the list of the “dirty dozen” put out by the Environmental Working Group.

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Maple or Agave? Which is Best?

A good article on which sweetener is the best for health, thanks to Fooducate. Click on the link for agave in the article. Keep in mind that all sweeteners (natural or artificial) are primarily “empty calories.” In this case, I would bet on maple syrup as a bit “healthier” due to some research that suggests that fructose found in agave may causes some health problems as discussed in a previous post HERE.

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Sodium and Potassium Ratio

The Standard American Diet (SAD) has it all wrong when it comes to sodium and potassium.

The typical daily intake of sodium in the U.S. is about 3400 mg.

The AI (Adequate Intake) is 1500/day. The Tolerable Upper level (UL) is 2300 mg.

The AI for potassium is 4700 mg/day, a level that will lower blood pressure and reduce the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The problem: Few Americans currently consume these amounts of potassium. The sodium/potassium ratio should be 1:2,  but actually approaches the opposite of about 2:1, so you can easily see the problem.

The U.S diet is high in sodium and low in potassium. The reason is that we eat a lot of processed foods, generally high in sodium and low in potassium and added during processing and manufacturing.    About 77% of the sodium we eat comes from these sources and not due to the salt shaker.

CLICK HERE.