Let Healthy Diet News Blog play a part in your path to a Healthy Balanced Diet. It keeps you up to date on the latest medical research and commentary on what foods and nutrients are part of a balanced healthy diet.
It's an ugly truth any which way you weigh it, but obesity rates in America are shockingly high. West Virginia, Arkansas and Mississippi take top honors with rates of obesity 35% and over; with no State having less than 20% of its population obese.
Some ethnic groups have even higher rates including Native Americans who, in some regions, have obesity rates over 75% of the population.
It's worth checking out the web site obesity.org to see, via vivid graphics, the heavy truth about America.
Click here to read more about healthy diet tips.
Researchers from Imperial College London, Japan and Mount Sinai have shed light on how blood glucose levels can trigger uncontrolled tumor growth. The research, done with fruit flies, further explains the link between obesity and overweight in humans and increased cancer risk.
Researchers fed fruit flies a high sugar diet and observed how increased glucose shut down cellular pathways that normally would regulate cell growth. Overweight and obese persons are at higher risk for Type II diabetes and insulin resistance, both of which result in raised blood glucose levels.
The research was published in the November issue of the online journal Elifesciences.
What are the best vitamin C sources for food and supplements
How much vitamin C do you need for good health
The downsides of Vitamin C deficiency
How to best achieve the Benefits of Vitamin C - Should you use Vitamin C Supplements or Not
Diabetes diet information for preventing, halting and reversing diabetes
What is Diabetes? How wonky blood sugar can play havoc with your health.
Diabetes statistics and worldwide trends - an arc of a disease
What's the best diet for Type 2 Diabetes? Research confirms that Vegetarian, Low Glycemic, Low Carb and Mediterranean diets can all be good choices to achieve healthy insulin sensitivity and avoid or control Type 2 Diabetes.Indeed, the research suggests it matters less how much you eat than the quality of what you eat?
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Joslin Diabetes Center reviewed a host of studies to conclude that you can prevent and control diabetes through diet (even without losing weight), if the quality of your food is good. The study was published in the June 2014 issue of The Lancet.
Whole grains, leafy vegetables and fruits as well as nuts and seeds were preventative of diabetes. Coffee was also associated with a lower risk.
By contrast, refined carbs like white flour, red and processed meat, sugar sweetened drinks and too much alcohol were associated with a higher diabetes risk.
Fat is not a bogeyman when it comes to diabetes. Eating enough healthy fats, as opposed to following a low fat regimen, was associated with decreased diabetes risk.
Click here to read more about the best diets for Type II Diabetes.
Don’t be zinc deficient and lose out on the many health benefits of zinc
A study published in the September 2014 issue of American Journal of Nutrition suggests taking oral magnesium supplements can improve physical performance in elderly women.
In a randomized blinded study of one hundred twenty-four women whose mean age was 71, fifty-three took 300 mg per day of magnesium oxide at the start of a 12 week mild exercise program, while the rest completed the program untreated. Among the treated group, there was a marked improvement in fitness level compared to the untreated group by the end of the program. Those who consumed less than the recommended daily intake of magnesium improved the most.
Magnesium is a macro-mineral important for, among other things, healthy muscle and nerve function. It is destroyed in much food processing.
Click here to read more about the benefits of magnesium and how to get enough.
Thinking of a sweet treat with your afternoon tea? Think again.
Robert Lustig a pediatric endocrinologist, has written extensively about the not so sweet side of sugar and why it may be at the root of many of our current health problems including obesity and diabetes. Here is a link to his interview in the Guardian.
Click here to read more about metabolic syndrome and its connection with excess dietary sugar.
Norwegian and Chinese researchers have found a correlation between blood levels of zinc and copper and the incidence and severity of children suffering autism spectrum disorder. The results appeared in the August 2014 issue of Neuroreport.
Blood levels of zinc and copper were tested in 60 Chinese children with autism along with 60 healthy controls. The results indicated that blood zinc levels and the zinc/copper ratio were significantly lower in children with autism compared with normal children; in addition, copper levels were significantly higher in the autistic group.
The research suggests that low serum zinc levels along with a low zinc/copper ratio may be a valid biomarker for autism spectrum disorder.
Click here to read more about the benefits of zinc and concerns about too much copper.
An Article in the Chicago Tribune describes how the new president of the American College of Cardiology recommends a vegan diet to his heart patients. This has other cardiologists, including those who recommend a paleo diet, up in arms.
One expert said that perhaps better than either a paleo or a vegan diet when it comes to heart health, is to focus on unprocessed and unrefined foods.
Click here to read more about the six key steps to a healthy balanced diet.
This is a useful article on the Organic Consumers Association web site about the many varieties of eggs available and why you'd want to nix factory farmed varieties in favor of organic pastured.
Click here to read more about the benefits of organic food.
Type II Diabetics who eat an excess of sodium may double their risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
1,588 diabetics were divided into 4 groups based on dietary sodium intake. Those who consumed an average of 5.9 grams per day had double the risk of cardiovascular complications than those who consumed an average of 2.8 grams daily. Poorly controlled blood sugar magnified the effects of sodium on cardiovascular disease occurrence.
The study suggests that Type II diabetics ought to follow a low sodium diet to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Click here to read more about diabetes.
How the Glycemic Index Food List can help achieve Low Glycemic Diets
Tips for an effective metabolic syndrome diet
Determining the best diet for type 2 diabetes– A comparison of the most popular diabetes diets
Researchers at Duke Global Health Institute estimate a lifetime price tag of US$19,000 per obese child. Only direct medical costs, such as doctors' visits and medication, were calculated. This was reported online in the journal Pediatrics. The article went on to say that even greater costs would accrue from absenteeism and lower productivity.
Granted, you may not be the one paying for your child's obesity, but lead author Eric Andrew Finkelstein points out that it's not all about money:
"For the same reasons we don't let kids drink or smoke and force them to go to school, we should also do our best to keep them at a healthy weight."
This last comment set me thinking that here is the heart of the matter - helping our children to eat well is a major kindness that we can offer.
Click here to read more about calories and weight loss.
Testing blood sugar to assess diabetes and other blood sugar problems
Author and Mother Eve Schaub's book about her family including two young children giving up added sugar for an entire year looks like a hit.
Year of No Sugar was available as of April 8th.
Read this interview with the author on Huffington Post.
As a mother, grocery shopper and nutrition nerd when it comes to her and her daughter's food, I was intrigued by the FDA's Feb 27th, 2014 announcement that it was overhauling the Nutrition Facts Label for the first time in 20 years.
Nutrition labels must give useful information and be easy to read and understand.
Looking at details of the proposed changes on the FDA website, I was happy at some additions and disappointed by some omissions.
Click here for more on understanding food labels and nutrition facts.
A doctoral student at University of Arkansas has found that consuming a protein food prior to exercise leads to more calories being burned, than if exercise is performed after a carbohydrate meal or on an empty stomach. The results suggest that, if calorie burning is your workout goal, consuming protein foods prior to exercise is wise. In fact, eating any kind of food, whether low protein or high protein, burned more calorie during exercise than after fasting.
The study involved
The benefit of exercise with high protein food during weight loss is that a person can prevent loss of muscle mass, which can occur if weight loss occurs without exercise and proper nutrition.
The study entitled “Thermic effect of food, exercise, and total energy expenditure in active females” will be published inJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
Press here for more on Why Calories Mattter.
While longevity has increased by almost 10 years in the population, this has not been the case with overweight teens who suffer higher rates of earlier death than their normal weight contemporaries. The study published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) confirms that obesity and overweight at a young age are more likely to result in earlier death.
The study included 2.16 million Israeli adolescents between ages 16 and 20 from 1950 until 1993 who were being evaluated for compulsory military service. The researchers examined the teenager’s BMI at the time of evaluation and scanned death records to see the age of death.
Mortality rates were 40% lower for normal weight teens born in the 1980’s than those born in the 1950’s. Even boys who were on the upper end of healthy weights showed a higher mortality than lower weight boys.
The FDA has released proposed new rules for the Nutrition Facts portion of food labels.
Key changes include identifying the amount of added sugars. Currently, only the amount of total sugars must be listed. The idea is that it's important to know how much refined sugars have been added to a food. Added sugars are linked to health problems, unlike naturally inherent ones.
Serving size will also be increased to reflect what people actually eat. The artificially small serving sizes allowed in the current Nutrition Facts can mislead consumers who don't realize they are consuming several servings in one sitting.Manufacturers would also be required to include the amount of Potassium and Vitamin D in a food, nutrients not currently required to be listed but associated with disease prevention and improved health.
Click here for more on understanding food labels and nutrition facts.
Up to 70% of honey sold in the US may not contain pollen and, instead, comes from somewhere other than where the label says.
Pollen expert Professor Vaughn Bryant from Texas A & M University has tested grocery store honey and found that the majority does not contain pollen. Pollen allows scientists to track honey's origins, including the type of nectar used and where it is from. Without pollen, honey can be labeled inaccurately without consumers knowing.Dr Bryant explains that many honeys identified as from a particular country and sold at premium prices are, in fact, not as stated.
Proposed senate legislation, introduced in 2013 but not passed, bans reselling honey from one country to another; importing into the US and selling as a product from the second country.For example, Chinese honey, produced at cheap rates and sometimes under dubious environmental circumstances, is sold routinely in the US without consumers knowings its origins.
Click here for the Senate bill requiring honey be accurately labeled.
The benefits versus risks of raw and pasteurized milk is one topic where both the experts and the impassioned have butted heads loudly and often.
The issue is in the news again with the tragic story of a two year old girl who suffered life threatening health problems because of exposure to a strain of E.coli sometimes found in raw milk. The story was published in the February 18, 2104 issue of Food Safety News. See the story below.
The FDA as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics advises consuming pasteurized dairy to prevent serious illness from food borne pathogens contained in raw milk. By contrast, organizations, like the Weston A Price Foundation, say that pasteurization renders milk and dairy products less healthful, because of the high heat used in the pasteurization process.
Click here for the FDA's advisory on the dangers of raw milk.
Click here for more about Weston A Price Foundation.
A study of nearly 15,000 male doctors over age 50 who took daily multivitamins and additional Vitamin C, E and beta carotene supplements over a four year period showed almost a 10% reduced risk of cataracts over those who took placebo. Results of the Harvard Medical School study were published in the February issue of Opthamology
Almost 10 million adults in the US suffer from cataracts, so a 10% reduction is significant, affecting possibly up to a million people.
The study also examined the effect of multivitamins on the risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people in the US. It found the effect of multi-vitamins statistically insignificant, with slightly more cases of AMD overall in the vitamin group compared to the placebo group. These results are contrary to the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) that showed an up to 25% reduction in AMD for those taking supplements. Researchers explain the contradictory results, as possibly due to a difference in dosage as well as type of nutrients taken. In the AREDS study extra zinc was included.
Click here for more about benefits of Vitamin C including how to get more in your diet.
Click here for more about benefits of zinc .
Click here for more about multi vitamins and whether they're worth it.
Chronic hives, thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, can last for long periods and cause painful or itchy rash and bumps on the skin. Until now there has been little to alleviate symptoms, other than standard allergy medications which include antihistamines.
Researchers have discovered that Vitamin D3, the familiar over the counter supplement, taken daily in 4,000 IU/d dose, can significantly reduce symptoms, including extent and duration, when taken along with common allergy meds. The low dose vitamin D supplementation made little difference.
The benefits of Vitamin D3 took several weeks to kick in and improved symptoms substantially over meds alone. Researchers speculate that D3 had an immune modulating effect.
Vitamin C rich foods are a smart bet to reduce your risk of hemorrhagic stroke - the most deadly kind of stroke. This is according to a study released February 12, 2014 to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's Annual Meeting this April.
The study compared 65 patients who had suffered stroke with equal numbers who had not. 59% of the stroke sufferers had low or deficient blood levels of vitamin C. On average, the healthy subjects had normal Vitamin C levels. Researchers speculate that the blood pressure lowering and collagen building effects of Vitamin C may play a role in Vitamin C's positive effect on blood vessels in the brain.
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables including berries, cherries, broccoli and citrus fruit are good sources of vitamin C.
Click here for more about benefits of Vitamin C including how to get more in your diet.
A new internet mode of gathering data about and from participants called "crowd sourcing" has come up with some innovative theories that may help explain the obesity epidemic.
532 participants on an internet forum gave info including their age, height and BMI before answering questions on their nutritional history.
Results showed that for those with higher BMIs, childhood factors not normally looked at like whether parents packed lunch or talked about nutrition may play a role in being overweight as an adult.
In addition, the study confirmed prior research that found kids whose parents followed an active healthy life style and didn't strictly control food had healthier BMIs than those who didn't.
Click here for what to talk about with your kids when it comes to food.
Inflammatory Foods to limit or avoid in your diet
How not to rock the blood sugar boat by eating low glycemic foods
Healthy Diet Site map for Healthy-Diet-Healthy-you.com
If you felt dizzy after reading all the mixed messages in the media about which foods, supplements and behaviors are good for you and which are bad, you are not alone!
It's official, according to a study about the effect of conflicting media reports on health and nutrition published in the January issue of Journal of Health Communication. Many consumers don't know what to think about nutrition with all the conflicting info bombarding them.
The worst is that these confused readers are less likely to comply with expert nutrition and health advice when given. They have little faith that the expert advice, like eating more vegetables and regular exercise, will work.
While nutrition research is an evolving science and conflicting information is inevitable, responsible health journalists must strive to ensure readers see the forest through the trees and, ultimately, "inform" not "confuse". Otherwise, what's the point?
Click here for the naked skinny on health and nutrition.
Some surprising facts on what people are eating including when and where and how much are in the January 2014 issue of Food Technology.
For example, 45% of Millennials and 24% of Boomers have adopted a special diet (e.g., gluten-free or vegan).
Half of adults bought prepared foods at a convenience store in 2013. Hot dogs, followed by deli sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, pizza, and other breakfast foods were the most popular items.
Makes one wonder whether those are vegan or gluten free hotdogs.
A Consumer Report study has found that several soda brands have higher levels than advised of a cancer-causing caramel colorant.
4-methylimidazole (4-MeI) is the most popular food coloring in the world. Research has found that in large doses it can cause tumors in rats and mice with speculation that the same may occur with humans, if too high a dose is ingested. Based on this information, California has set limits on its use in food. Dark colored sodas like Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi contain 4-MeI.
The recent Consumer Report testing showed that some of the sodas exceeded the California limits, including those in other States where there are no limits.
One more reason to not eat processed food that contains artificial colorants and other unnecessary additives.
Click here to read more about the benefits of organic and chemical free food.
Lunch boxes are one area where it's easy to get in a rut.
This is why cookbook writer Alida Ryder's children's lunch box ideas are inspirational. Check out her page for when you feel there's nothing new you can do. You are sure to find ideas to jazz up your child's lunch that will leave you both happy and healthy.
Click here to read more about healthy diet tips that can help you build healthy meals for you and your family.
Researchers at Houston Methodist Cancer Center are examining the effects of hydroxytyrosol, a major component of olive oil, to see if it can reduce breast density and, thereby, the incidence of breast cancer in high risk premenopausal and post menopausal women. A 1% reduction in breast density reduces breast cancer incidence by 2%.
Olive oil is the basis of the Mediterranean Diet with hydroxytyrosol a powerful anti-oxidant. The study's 100 participants will take 25 mg daily of hydroxytyrosol for 12 months.
Click here to read more about a breast cancer diet.
Researchers at Monell Center have shown how people can detect levels of fat in food from smell alone. Thought to have an evolutionary basis because fatty foods are energy dense and therefore preferable, the research points to the importance of smell in food choice.
Researchers compared subjects' ability to detect different amounts of fat in milk from smell alone. To make sure the difference wasn't cultural or related to differences in body weight, the experiment was done among Dutch and US subjects, as well as overweight and normal weight individuals. All subjects were non-smokers, non-pregnant and lactose tolerant.
People's ability to detect fatty acids by smell alone is important to maintain an ideal weight and make healthy food choices.
Click here to read more about picking healthy fats and nixing unhealthy ones.
Researchers have determined that older adults with higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) found in fish and fish oil supplements have larger brain volume than those with lesser blood levels. This can result in a 1 to 2 years improvement in brain health including improved memory and avoidance of Alzheimer's. The study was published in the January 22, 2014 on line issue of Neurology.
Those with higher levels of omega-3s had both larger overall brain size, as determined by MRIs, but also a 2.7 % larger volume in the hippocampus region of the brain, which plays an important role in memory. In Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus begins to atrophy even before symptoms appear.
The bottom line?... eat oily fish or fish oil supplements to keep your brain in top form as you age.
Click here to read more about Benefits of Omega 3's for brain and overall health.
A small study of adult celiac patients published in the January 2014 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology confirms that quinoa does not exacerbate celiac symptoms. It appears a good food for celiac patients who cannot digest gluten - a common constituent of many grains including wheat.
Prior to the study, there was lab evidence that quinoa increased immune markers for the disease. The current study, that had 19 celiac patients consume 50 grams per day, suggests no adverse effects of quinoa on the condition.This is good news for celiac sufferers who often face a limited diet going gluten free. Quinoa is a nutritious high protein grain from South America that is available widely.
Click here to read more about other inflammatory conditions and how an anti-inflammatory diet can help.
Here is a surprising one from the diet front!
Researchers at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that obese and overweight adults who drink diet soda eat more solid food calorie for calorie than the same adults who drink sugared sodas.
Previous research suggests that artificial sweeteners may interfere with a person's appetite control mechanisms leading him or her to eat more.
The bottom line? Diet sodas may not be a dieter's friend. This is important news since diet sodas are drunk more often by people with higher BMI's and are widely seen as a weight control aid.
Click here to read more about calories and weight loss.
Researchers at McGill University and University of Zurich have determined a link between how brain cells metabolize energy and how they signal information.
Researchers think this may explain how fasting and special diets like the high fat, low carb Ketogenic Diet have been used successfully to control epilepsy, especially in situations where anti-convulsive drugs don't work or have too many side-effects.
Researchers looked at how brain cell mitochondria that produce energy also release as a byproduct reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS both signal cell death but also, it appears, play a communication role in the healthy brain.
Click here to read more about healthy diet tips that can help you keep your brain and body on board.
A 10 year long study of over 7,000 middle aged men and women has found that men who drink more than 2 and 1/2 alcoholic drinks a day can see their memory decline between 1.5 and 6 years earlier than if they don't drink, drink lightly or drank formerly.
The study published in the January 2014 issue of Neurology found that only so called heavy drinkers' memories declined. Those who drank less beer, wine or spirits saw no decline.
The message? If you're a middle aged man, watch the alcohol!
Click here to read more about healthy diet tips that can help you keep in top form.
Vitamin B12 benefits for good health
A list of CoQ benefits for the heart and overall health