Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Separate the Sense from the Nonsense: Marketing Foods

Food Marketing

Don’t be fooled by clever marketing gimmicks and misinformation on the internet.! Sounds good, but is it really that much healthier? Probably not.



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Alcohol and Longevity ???

NEWS: Drinking a Glass of Wine and Taking a Walk May Be Key to Longevity

Two Types Of Wine White Wine Glass Grapes

Centenarians from the “Blue Zones” regions of the world often drink up to two glasses of wine every day as a way to “downshift” from the stressors of daily life. Drinking a glass of wine with a plant-slant meal and a group of your closest friends can only enhance the experience and the benefits.  Read the link HERE.

Ever heard of the glymphatic system in the brain?  I never had even with about 20 years of  teaching Anatomy and Physiology. I first thought it was a misprint but after some searches found out it is very new concept (actually around for a hundred years, but apparently no one had the tools to study it. ) You can read about in more depth HERE.

So a new study found HERE caught my attention and may shed some light on why it may be beneficial – wine drinkers rejoice??? And it may have something to do with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease since theories often describe that disease is associated with toxin -induced inflammation that builds up as amyloid plaques in certain parts of the brain involving cognition and memory functions. But this may be all conjecture?

There are many cautions about studies like this. Many people can read a headline and misinterpret its message. The title of the article is “Low levels of alcohol good for the brain, study shows.” The key here is “low levels” which is a moderate intake defined in the study as about 2 glasses a day. In other words, a higher intake did NOT curb inflammation but rather added to the problem. In addition this was an animal study (sorry, volunteers for the next study).  Of course, the results cannot be applied to humans as everyone should realize. There have been some studies, however, that modest amounts of alcohol have shown some cardiovascular health benefits, but again, these results always are accompanied by the common sense cautionary warnings.











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Why Don’t the Japanese Get Fat?

The Japanese are one of the longest living cultures in the world. For centuries the Japanese diet has been loaded with carbohydrates, low in protein and very low fat. The Japanese report death rates from heart disease that are half the of the U.S., as well as one of the lowest incidences of breast cancer in the world. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is also less frequent than in Western countries and death rates from breast, prostate, and uterine cancers are comparatively low.

Why didn’t obesity and accompanying diabetes cripple their society as it does in the U.S. and/or parts of Europe, namely the UK?  Why did Americans gain so much weight and develop type 2 diabetes since the 1980’s after adapting a high carbohydrate, lower fat diet?   What happened? You cannot blame carbohydrates solely for the obesity problem.  This epidemic is more than likely multi factorial with conditions present in the food supply and/or the environment.

What are the Japanese guidelines compared to ours? Interesting!


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What is a Processed Food?


Processed foods are often maligned due to their low  nutrient density, high caloric density and high levels of sugar, fat, and salt. All foods are processed to some degree but it is generally thought that the Ultra-processed foods are the most troublesome. This article clarifies some of the confusion. Brazil’s dietary guidelines make some sense.


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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.