In this week’s news: Scientists get the skinny on coffee and obesity; nutritionists root for plant-based omega-3; and why kids shouldn’t heart energy drinks (or even drink them).
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Whether you’re traveling home for the holidays, getting away on vacation, or are a frequent flyer, air travel presents a common challenge to healthy eating. Understanding the unique needs of your body in flight, along with a little bit of planning, can go a long way in getting you to your destination energized, not exhausted.
It seems like every time we turn around, we hear about a new way the Mediterranean diet is good for us. Filling up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, eating a moderate amount of fish and dairy and just a small amount of meat, sweets and unhealthy fats, and incorporating olive oil and the occasional glass of red wine is a recipe for reducing the risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and death due to heart disease or cancer. In the past few months alone, studies have concluded that the Mediterranean diet may lower the risk for chronic kidney disease, diabetes and peripheral artery disease and can help reverse metabolic syndrome. And that’s just a small sampling of the research fast piling up in the diet’s favor.
In this week’s news: Parents get schooled about the healthfulness of home versus school lunches; weight-loss study tips the scales in favor of vegan diet; and researchers suggest attempts to reset metabolism are likely futile.
On my recent visit to the annual Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (the “Super Bowl of nutrition,” as it’s referred to by nutritionists), health care pros from around the country came together to talk about the hottest topics in nutrition. This year the conference was buzzing about one particular nutrient: protein. Here’s what all the fuss was about.
In this week’s news: There may be one fewer reason to drink red wine; meat companies ditch the drugs; and two studies take a glass-half-empty attitude toward milk drinking.
In this week’s nutrition news: another reason to eat chocolate; acid reflux doctor cautions against late-night eating; and nutrition labels are poised for a major makeover.
New research is giving us another reason to question the safety of artificial sweeteners. Researchers concluded that artificial sweeteners may be contributing to diseases like obesity and diabetes. It may be another reason you should swap the pink or blue packet of the artificial stuff for something more natural.
A recent study published in the journal Nature found that folks who were given saccharin (a type of artificial sweetener) over a week developed glucose intolerance, a condition that can lead to diabetes. Additionally, researchers also analyzed close to 400 people and found that the gut bacteria of those who used artificial sweeteners were really different from folks who did not use the fake stuff. The study concluded that more research should be done to really determine the safety of these calorie-free sugar alternatives.
In this week’s news: Energy drinks may not be worth the energy, or the risk; eating right and exercising during pregnancy is a big boon for your baby; and researchers find yet another reason to start eating a Mediterranean diet, pronto. Read more
Many of us are guilty, at least on occasion, of scarfing down food and swallowing large mouthfuls. Beyond that, who hasn’t heard some variation of the chew-your-food-X-number-of-times counsel? Such advice may sound like dietary superstition, but how well a person chomps actually matters. Chewing rate can have a significant impact on digestion of nutrients and may also affect hunger levels.
The Tooth of the Matter
In recent years, several studies have determined that chewing food thoroughly makes more nutrients available for absorption. Extra chewing allows compound within the food an additional opportunity to combine before they make it further down the digestive tract, which may have a positive influence on health. According to some studies, taking more time to chew also promotes a slower rate of eating, which can help with better appetite control and (in the long run) improved weight management.