Food News You Can Use

November 7, 2011 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

The next time you put together your grocery list, remind yourself that the foods you include and omit can have a profound affect on your well being. Here are several, recent examples of how you can use food to improve you and your family’s health. If you’re obese and on a hypocaloric diet, make sure to consume optimal levels of dietary calcium (1,600 mg/day) and protein (30% of calories/day). A study appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that higher protein diets rich in dairy products may reduce the risk of dieting-induced bone loss in overweight women. The importance of dietary protein was further bolstered in the October 12th edition of the journal PLoS One. In that research, lowering protein intake by as little as 5% was found to increase overall caloric intake by 12% due to increased appetite.

Overweight is far from the only condition that is affected by dietary choices. Many of the leading causes of health care spending, lost productivity and patient suffering are prime targets for food interventions. The growing problem of metabolic syndrome (MetS), a combination of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, is one example. Thankfully, a new analysis of over 2,000 adolescents determined that MetS incidence could be minimized dramatically by eating a nutrient dense diet that is rich in fiber. There’s good news for adults concerned about heart health as well. French researchers report that even short term consumption of small dosages of red wine (8 oz/day) provides potent cardiovascular support by improving antioxidant status and decreasing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. A trial conducted at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute reveals that low carb dieters trying to reduce total cholesterol should consider substituting a portion of their saturated fat intake with monounsaturated fat. One diet that tends to contain large quantities of monounsaturated fats is a Mediterranean diet. New data out of Spain demonstrates that a Mediterranean diet with added nuts is capable of raising plasma levels of brain-deprived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein which is essential for normal cognitive and emotional functioning. Even cancer isn’t beyond the reach of a healthy diet and appropriate supplementation. The October 25th issue of the journal Cancer Prevention & Research reports that lowering the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids to a 2:1 ratio decreased prostate cancer cell growth in a group of 55 patients. To be clear, diet was not used as a replacement for conventional treatment. However, this is yet another powerful example of how dietary changes can work alongside medical therapies.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - Diets Higher in Dairy Foods and Dietary Protein Support Bone (link)

Study 2 - Testing Protein Leverage in Lean Humans: A Randomised(link)

Study 3 - Dietary Fiber and Nutrient Density Are Inversely Associated(link)

Study 4 - A Moderate Red Wine Intake Improves Blood Lipid Parameters (link)

Study 5 - Changes in Atherogenic Dyslipidemia Induced by Carbohydrate (link)

Study 6 - The Effect of the Mediterranean Diet on Plasma Brain-Derived (link)

Study 7 - Phase II Prospective Randomized Trial of a Low-Fat Diet with Fish Oil (link)

Higher Protein Diets Promote Satiety

Source: PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25929 (link)

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition

2 Comments & Updates to “Food News You Can Use”

  1. anne h Says:

    Omega 3′s are my current foodie obsession… I mean – research project…..
    Yeah – that’s it… *research project*…….!
    Love your approach to learning – awesome!

  2. JP Says:

    Thanks, Anne! I’m a big omega-3 fan myself. :)

    Be well!

    JP

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