FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


Leave a comment

“Real” “Clean” Foods: What do they mean?

Food Marketing

A recent trend in the food business is the use of the unidentified and non-nondescript meanings of “real food” and “clean food.”  The terms appear to be favorites of “foodies” (whatever that means) and perhaps Millennials. The following article from Restaurant News attempts to define what they may mean to the average consumer and how the industry is responding.  Click HERE.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Fighting Prostate Cancer with Food?

Plants contain phytochemicals

Nutrition and cancer associations have  been studied for years and unfortunately never have produced any practical, reasonable or consistent results as far as dietary therapeutic or preventive effects. Here are two interesting studies that at least suggest that maybe, just maybe, some cancer cells could be controlled by dietary phytochemicals from plant foods. The question remains as to just what combinations of these plant chemicals do the best job or are most efficacious and safe.

So what to do in the meantime? In my opinion, the take home message is to eat a variety of vegetables and fruits containing phytochemicals that work in a synergistic manner rather than individually. It appears that eating one type of food the media often labels “superfood”  for example, would probably have little effect on cancer cell destruction. That does help to explain why cancer research has not so far produced any promising dietary interventions. But stay tuned as we learn more. Be aware that dietary treatments for cancer have  dominated the area of nutrition quackery for decades.  There are few clinical trials available that test the diet-cancer hypothesis. For sure, cancer patients should not be reliant on untested cancer treatments from any source.

CLICK HERE.

An interesting video about this topic has been published from  Michael Greger, MD, FACLM on his website, NutritionFacts.org. To view this website and video:

CLICK HERE.


Leave a comment

A New Trend in Your Supermarket?

dietitian-nutritionist

This is an excellent idea but just have to speak out here for the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN).  RD’s have been conducting supermarket tours for decades and many are employed by supermarkets. Most doctors are not well trained in the science of nutrition while RDs have undergraduate degrees in nutrition and graduate degrees in nutrition or related health fields. They are required to complete an internship and pass a national exam plus participate in continuing education activities.

CLICK HERE.


Leave a comment

Magnesium: The Forgotten Nutrient?

foods-high-in-magnesium

Functions of Magnesium

Magnesium is often a neglected nutrient. Low intakes are common and are associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. Along with an adequate intake of potassium and calcium, these minerals favor a lower risk of hypertension.

50 to 60% of magnesium in the body is found in bone. The rest resides inside the body cells with a small percentage in the blood. It functions in over 300 enzyme systems, many of which involve the release of energy, proper functioning of nerves and muscles including those of the heart and in the many steps of DNA, RNA and protein synthesis. It also affects the metabolism of calcium, sodium and potassium.

How Much Do We Need?

The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is 400 mg for adults and children over the age of 4. The Upper Tolerable Level (UL) is 350 mg from non-diet sources.

An intake below the RDA is commonly seen in the population but a blatant deficiency is rare. The use of diuretics can increase urinary loss and the use of proton pump inhibitors to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD) can interfere with magnesium absorption.

Food Sources

The best food sources are:

Seeds and nuts

Garbanzo beans

Leafy greens like spinach

Processed foods are poor choices. For example, a cup of whole wheat flour contains about 166 mg. of magnesium. When that grain is refined and thus more processed, the white flour only contains 28 mg.

Magnesium Supplements

Since magnesium is not found abundantly in many foods, magnesium supplementation is popular and claimed to be beneficial for just about any disorder.

Research on the role of magnesium in other medical conditions is sparse. For example, magnesium levels in the body may alleviate the effects of osteoporosis. Dietary magnesium may have some benefit, but using supplements does not appear to have the same effect. The same may be true for its role in controlling hypertension. Its claims often include treating anxiety, ADHD, depression, and muscle cramps; however, most research does not report much help from supplements. One common side effect of magnesium supplementation is its laxative effect with some forms. Magnesium taurate and magnesium glycinate appear to not have this effect.

Always tell your doctor about any supplements you take. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so buyer beware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Foods to Avoid for Food Safety

 

danger zoneFood safety is an often ignored topic since no one really wants to talk about food-borne illness. However, a bout of food poisoning can change a life or the health of the affected individual  for a lifetime.  When I was involved with teaching an infectious disease course, we found E.coli in some sprouts purchased from a local supermarket and a few times from a salad purchased from a local restaurant. Both of these foods are eaten raw which does not protect us from illness in contrast to cooking our food appropriately. I don’t know if these species of E. coli were the “bad” ones, but the mere presence of it indicates improper food handling practices.

For more on the long-lasting, often devastating effects of common “bugs”, click HERE.

CLICK HERE.