FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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The Mediterranean Diet and Cancer Prevention

THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET PYRAMID

The Mediterranean Diet scores again – this  time with cancer prevention. In the 1980’s, cancer prevention and diet were hot topics. It was thought at the time that specific nutrients were the key to affecting cancer rates. Examples included omega-3 fatty acids  and individual nutrients, namely beta carotene, and vitamin E were the favorite “supernutrients” of the era. However, disappointing results occurred and the use of beta carotene and vitamin E supplements actually were found to promote certain cancers than protect against them.

More research has correctly centered around the use of diet scores that compare adherence to certain diet patterns like the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet and cancer prevention as well as other chronic diseases. For the latest results, CLICK HERE.

 

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How to Live Longer?

It’s not just diet but other lifestyle habits as well. The results of a recent study were  quite impressive in the number of years gained by adherence to five simple guidelines. Now the challenge should be how to get people to adhere to the recommendations.

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For a link to the study, CLICK HERE.


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Fats, Sugar and the Liver?

All fats and carbs are not equal when it comes to their effects on the body. This is clearly reported in a new study called the “MUFFIN” study comparing saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat effects on the liver. The same goes with sugars.

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Is Tea Good for the Heart and Brain?

The research on tea and heart disease is often conflicting and inconsistent. However, as we learn more, some answers emerge.  The following article appears to deal with epidemiological aspects of tea drinking and health benifits. As in previous studies, green tea may win out compared to black tea. Also, adding milk or sugar to tea may destroy some of its beneficial  phytonutrients.

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What may be good for the heart may be also good for the brain. For a previous post CLICK HERE.

 


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Food Additives in Processed Foods

When you read those long lists of ingredients on a processed food label, you may be finding some that do us no favors. Check out the following article about some common ones found in varying amounts that may affect our “friendly” bacteria of the microbiome. Not only are our friendly bacteria affected, but our overall diet may also encourage more harmful species of bacteria to flourish or  contribute to antibiotic resistance, a serious problem.

A previous post HERE discusses the microbiome and its proposed functions that can contribute to our overall health.

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Vegetables and Heart Disease?

A good study that went beyond the usual of a typical observational study – they separated vegetables into categories of intake and also measured the thickness by ultrasonography of carotid arteries and plaque in a large sample size of older women. Since it has been shown that not all vegetables have the same effects (more than likely due to their varied content of phytochemicals) – here is where the cruciferous vegetables came out ahead of the pack.

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For the actual study,  CLICK HERE.

 


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From Fact to Fiction: Diet Supplements?

 

So many times when a particular nutrient shows promise with disease prevention, the diet supplement industry goes into  full swing on hyping its benefits in the  form of a pill, aka a  diet supplement. The claims are often exaggerated and when put to the test (if ever) they fail to meet expectations.

What are the actual facts about these supplements?  Do they really meet the claims that are promised? That is why nutrition research becomes important in order to sort out the facts from the fiction.

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