A recent Q&A discussed the use of antibiotics in food: Antibiotics and Superbugs in Your Food? Check out the article and let us know which type of meat you include in your diet or if you forgo meat altogether!
If you walk, ride a bike or take public transportation to work, you’re less likely to be overweight compared to people who drive to work or take a taxi. You’re also 17 percent less likely to have high blood pressure. And walkers are 40 percent less likely to have diabetes. These findings come from a British survey of 20,000 people across the UK. Researchers at Imperial College London and University College London determined that 19 percent of working age adults who drove, taxied or rode a motorbike to work were obese compared to 15 percent of those who walked and 13 percent of those who rode their bikes. The survey showed that cyclists were about half as likely to have diabetes as drivers, and that transport to work varied widely with location within the UK. For example, in London 52 percent of those surveyed used public transportation, while only five percent did in Northern Ireland. The findings were published on August 6, 2013 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Anthony A. Laverty and Christopher Millett, et al “Active Travel to Work and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in the United Kingdom,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.04.012
Tuscan Kale Salad is one of the most popular dishes at True Food Kitchen in Phoenix. Here, on the restaurant's patio, chef Michael Stebner and Dr. Weil demonstrate how to make it. Michael also explains some of the unique features that have made True Food Kitchen one of the most popular restaurants in Phoenix.
Here's the recipe for Tuscan Kale Salad.
Did you ever wonder why you tend to overeat after a restless night? It’s almost as if lack of sleep throws a switch in your brain, letting loose cravings for donuts, pizza and burgers. That’s pretty much what actually happens, according to results of a study from the University of California, Berkeley. Researchers there recruited 23 healthy young adults to see what their responses to food would be after a good night’s sleep and a sleepless night. The investigators used functional MRIs (fMRI) to look at what was going on in the brains of their young subjects. After sleeping well, the study participants tended to choose fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. But after that sleepless night, they went for the donuts, pizza and burgers. The researchers found when we’re sleep-deprived, activity is impaired in the brain’s frontal lobe, which controls complex decision-making. They also saw increased activity in the parts of the brain that respond to rewards, leading to the choice of those less-healthy foods. The investigators suggested that these changes in brain activity may help explain why people who sleep less also tend to be overweight or obese. The study was published in the August 6, 2013 issue of Nature Communications.
Matthew Walker et al, “The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain,” Nature Communications 4, Article number: 2259 doi:10.1038/ncomms3259
If you or your kids snack on grapes or raisins and sip 100 percent grape juice, your diet is likely to be healthier than most. A new analysis of the diets of more than 21,800 children and adults suggests that grape eaters have a pretty healthy all-around diet – in general they eat more vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds than those who don’t eat grapes, and they consume less added sugar, total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. The report was based on data gathered from the 2003 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It showed that grape consumers had increased intake of vitamins A, C and B6, fiber, calcium and potassium. In other news about grapes, an animal study at the University of Michigan showed that eating grapes can reduce heart failure associated with chronic high blood pressure by increasing the activity of several genes responsible for antioxidant defense in the heart tissue.
My take? The only downside to the news that eating grapes is a marker for good nutrition is the fact that grapes perennially make the Environmental Working Group’s list of the “Dirty Dozen Plus” - a ranking of fruits and vegetables that have high pesticide loads. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat grapes – they are good for you - but it does mean that they’re one of the fresh produce items you should always buy organic.
Carla R. McGill et al “Improved Diet Quality and Increased Nutrient Intakes Associated with Grape Product Consumption by U.S. Children and Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2008 (pages A1–A4),” Journal of Food Science, first published online: June 21, 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12066
E. Mitchell Seymour et al, “Diet-relevant phytochemical intake affects the cardiac AhR and nrf2 transcriptome and reduces heart failure in hypertensive rats,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, March 22, 2013
A recent Q&A discussed various types of vegetable protein you can include in your diet: Which Vegetable Protein Is Best? Check out the article and let us know which vegetarian protein you enjoy most!
Postmenopausal women who are increasing their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids for heart health may get a big bonus: protection against hip fractures. Researchers at Ohio State University analyzed blood samples from postmenopausal women and found that those with higher levels of omega-3s (from both fish and plant sources) were less likely to have broken a hip compared to women whose blood samples were low in omega-3s. The researchers also looked at levels of omega-6 fatty acids and found that hip fracture risk increased as the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s went up. Omega-6s (from linoleic acid found in corn, soybean, safflower and sunflower oils) are more plentiful in our diets than omega-3s. The ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s should be no higher than four to one and ideally closer to two to one, but it is generally much higher, the investigators noted. Because this study was observational in nature – it showed only an association between omega-3s and lower risks of hip fracture - it did not prove cause and effect. But researcher Tonya Orchard, assistant professor of human nutrition, said the findings “add a little more strength to current recommendations to include more omega-3s in the diet."
Tonya Orchard and Rebecca Jackson et al, “The association of red blood cell n-3 and n-6 fatty acids with bone mineral density and hip fracture risk in the women's health initiative”, Journal of Bone Mineral Research, March 2013 doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1772.