October 11, 2017

Health Roundup: Food Edition

Low-Carbohydrate Diet Superior to Antipsychotic Medications - Two remarkable personal stories, as told by their Harvard psychiatrist.

Ketogenic diets are special low-carbohydrate diets that have been used to treat epilepsy for almost 100 years and show great promise in the management of a wide variety of other brain disorders.

Want to make your salad healthier? Add FAT! Just a drizzle of oil could DOUBLE the absorption of 8 nutrients

Adding fat to your salad makes it healthier, new research reveals.Tucking into a plate of lettuce and cucumber with a drizzle of oil could increase the absorption of eight nutrients that are linked to human health, a study found. Such nutrients include vitamins A, E and K, which have previously been associated with cancer prevention and improved vision, the research adds.
Lead author Professor Wendy White from Iowa State University, said: 'The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption.'  Maximum absorption occurs when around two tablespoons of oil is added.  Previous research reveals oil boosts the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients

It really IS the most important meal of the day!

Skipping breakfast 'leads to increased risk of heart attacks', study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds. Those skipping breakfast were 25.7 times more likely to have atherosclerosis, or stiff and narrow arteries and were more likely to be obese and to suffer high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Participants who skipped breakfast were also more likely to have an overall unhealthy lifestyle, including poor overall diet, frequent alcohol consumption and smoking.  The study by researchers from Tufts University was carried out on a group of 4000 people in Spain free from cardiovascular or chronic kidney disease.

Saving carbs for last at mealtime may help control blood sugar levels for diabetics  Don't eat the bread first.

Diabetics should save bread for last at mealtime to keep their blood sugar under control, new research suggests. Weill Cornell Medicine researchers said adopting this technique and saving carbs for last is comparable to the effects of insulin.  Carbohydrates trigger a surge in blood sugar levels in sufferers - hence many avoid such foods completely. But scientists have found that leaving bread, potatoes and pasta til the end helps to control these spikes after eating. The carbohydrate-last meal was also associated with lower insulin secretion and higher levels of a gut hormone that helps regulate glucose and satiety.

Just ONE extra banana or avocado a day could prevent heart attacks and stroke

It's all down to one key nutrient - potassium -  reveals study author Dr Paul Sanders from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Potassium-rich foods may stop fatal blockages from occurring by preventing arteries from hardening and maintains artery flexibility.  Previous research reveals stiff, inflexible arteries increase a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.  The researchers studied mice and found the animals given high potassium had substantially less artery hardening and reduced stiffness in their aorta, the body's main artery.  This is thought to be due to low-potassium levels in the blood preventing the expression of genes that maintain artery flexibility.

English breakfast tea may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism - so long as it's drunk without milk.

Black tea molecules are larger and therefore less well absorbed by the intestine.  This encourages the growth of metabolism-boosting bacteria in mice studies. They reduce intestinal bacteria associated with obesity and boost lean mass. Black and green tea extracts cause weight loss similar to following a low-fat diet. Experts believe both teas are prebiotics that feed wellbeing-related organisms.

Boy, 11, is left blind after following a strict diet of potato, meat, apples, cucumber and Cheerios due to his allergies and eczema

The Canadian child, who remains anonymous, suffered irreversible damage to his vision from a lack of vitamin A. Alongside his progressive vision loss, the boy also suffered from dry eyes and night blindness - both hallmarks of a vitamin A deficiency.  By the time the boy was taken to hospital, eight months after his eye sight began to falter, he was only able to see 30cm from his face. Doctors gave the patient three super-strength doses of the vitamin over the course of two weeks, they wrote in the journal JAMA Pediatrics Clinical Challenge. The boy's vision improved to 20/800 within six weeks, but it means he is still legally blind.

Do YOU need more zinc? From brittle nails to dry skin - this body map shows the warning signs and how you can fix it.

 Bodymap Zinc Deficiency

‘Signs of low zinc status include a weakened immune system, more colds and poor wound healing, tiredness, and low sex drive’. Zinc deficiency could be the reason your hair isn’t as thick as it used to be.  Zinc is not called the beauty vitamin for nothing. It’s second only to iron as the most abundantly found mineral in the human body and among its key functions are keeping skin, hair, teeth and nails healthy, not to mention the functioning of our libidos and immune systems. ‘Zinc is required for the activity of over 300 body enzymes, and these enzymes help to bring about biochemical reactions in the body that are essential to protein synthesis, hormone production, as well overall radiance and wellbeing,’ says public health nutritionist Emma Derbyshire. Most at risk: ‘Strict vegetarians and vegans, Other people at risk could be those who drink lots of alcohol.
Posted by Jill Fallon at October 11, 2017 10:43 AM | Permalink