Tag Archives: health

The president’s diet and what it says about America

(CNN)Thomas Jefferson may have been America’s first foodie. The Founding Father developed a taste for French cuisine, grew a vast vegetable garden and cherished a farm-to-table diet.

Abraham Lincoln was more of a modest eater. According to historians, the 16th president “liked apples and hot coffee,” and didn’t demand much in a meal.
    On the other hand, Ronald Reagan was known for his sweet tooth. The country’s 40th president munched on jelly beans to quit smoking and quickly fell in love with the candy, often keeping a stash nearby in the White House.
    Now, it seems that a fast food connoisseur will enter the White House.
    “The Obamas are very calorie-conscious and health-conscious, which is a reflection of the first lady. Her vegetable garden is a serious thing, something permanent for White House residents to come,” Seale said, “In Mrs. Obama’s parting, her garden has been endowed handsomely by the Burpee seed company.”

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    Now, with the Trump administration, Bentley said, we might see a different model of eating that might be something of a “throwback to the post-World War II era of being enamored with the qualities of fast food.”
    “You could argue that Trump’s food aesthetic is similar to this earlier post-World War II era, where the dominant values for food were sameness, predictability and quantity over quality,” she said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/30/health/donald-trump-presidents-diets/index.html

    High-protein diet linked to heart failure in older women

    (CNN)Women older than 50 who eat high-protein diets could have a greater risk of heart failure, especially if a lot of their protein comes from meat, according to a new study presented at the annual scientific conference of the American Heart Association.

    Researchers found that postmenopausal women who follow a high-protein diet had a significantly higher rate of heart failure than those who ate less protein daily or ate more vegetable protein.
      This could be attributed to the molecular mechanisms of animal protein, Barbour said, explaining that animal proteins can turn to toxic molecules, which can in turn affect the function of the heart’s left ventricle and lead to heart failure. They can also increase the body mass index, a known risk factor for heart failure.
      “Our study should be interpreted with caution,” warned Barbour. “It appears that a high-protein diet may increase the risk of heart failure among postmenopausal women; however, more research will be needed.”

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      Dr. Mingyang Song, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, described the findings as interesting. Song was the lead author of research published this year that found replacing animal protein with plant protein in a person’s diet was associated with a decreased risk of death. He was not involved in the new research.
      “People who eat high vegetable proteins may also have a healthier lifestyle,” Song said. This may imply that other factors are responsible for lowering the risk of heart failure for that group, he added.
      “I think it’ll be good to replicate the results in other studies,” he said, suggesting that a more controlled group with a more controlled food intake could be required for that purpose.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/health/high-protein-meat-diet-women-heart-failure/index.html

      Thinking of doing a detox diet? Be warned: this is what happens to your body | Brigid Delaney

      I did an extreme detox a couple of years ago and was shocked to discover how bad it made me smell. Here are some other unexpected effects

      Its that time of year, where after a month or more of the party season, detox diets start appearing in magazines and on websites everywhere you look promising rapid weight loss.

      But be warned: I have done it before, and I can tell you what happens to your body and its not pleasant.

      A couple of years ago I went on an extreme detox. For two weeks I ate no food, just drank foul-tasting Chinese herbs (imagine the taste of old cigarette butts floating in brackish creek water), then for the following three weeks I ate only small amounts of cucumber and poached chicken.

      I lost 14 kilograms, which I put back on over the following two years.

      I wont be doing an extreme detox again but if youre considering it, here are some of the weird effects you can expect to experience.

      You will smell

      It was day four of no food when I noticed the smell. I was lying in bed with the windows open, and thought, Maaaannn, someone must have left a bag of old chicken carcasses out in the sun. Chicken carcasses and off milk. I closed the window in disgust before realising the smell was coming from me. I smelled like chicken carcasses and sour milk.

      Over the following weeks, friends recoiled from me when I hugged them, and I noticed that when I cried, even my tears smelled bad.

      You will be bored

      Not shopping for, preparing, eating and cleaning up after a meal means that days are no longer filled with food-related tasks. Without meals, theres no marker or divider so time takes on a different dimension. Theres so much of it!

      I avoided food-related socialising while detoxing, so did not spend any time in restaurants or bars. I had nothing to do during the day, which was lucky because I slept a lot (and was being paid by a magazine to write about the diet). I also had no plans at night.

      I was bored. Really bored. Each day I went to the detox clinic, got weighed, had some acupuncture and a (very hard) massage. Then Id go home to just … hang. I had no energy to do anything else. When I met people on a rare outing, I was hyperactive. I was so excited to meet a friend in the park one day that I arrived an hour early.

      Soon I will see her! I said, looking at my phone, In 43 minutes!

      It reminded of that novel on boredom, The Pale King by David Foster Wallace: over the foothills of tedium and boredom lie bliss you just have to wait it out.

      First you look bad, and then you look amazing

      First, your skin goes blotchy, eyes bloodshot, hair lank, tongue coated, and of course you stink. Then one day you wake up and look in the mirror and theres no other word for how you look: AMAZING.

      Years fell off my face. One day I woke up and every single wrinkle I had was gone. My nails were strong, hair shiny, the whites of my eyes luminous. Who was this person? I was afraid, though, that if I kept on not eating, Id look like an infant by Easter.

      Your dreams will be particularly vivid

      By day five, I felt like I was on heavy sedatives. I could barely do anything except sleep.

      When awake, I spent hours staring out the window. I couldnt concentrate enough to read more than a couple of lines of my book. TV programs, even the dumb ones, were too much effort.

      But, oh, my dreams! Ive never had such vivid, energetic, horrific dreams thrumming with currents of anxiety. Typically I was trying to get somewhere, running from gate lounge to gate lounge trying to board a flight for my departure to Barkly. Where is Barkly? I dont know but I had to get there.

      Days four to seven are really hard

      The first couple of days are fine, almost a novelty. I felt too waterlogged from the gross herbs to be properly hungry and I didnt leave the house much so was safe from temptation. There were headaches probably from caffeine withdrawals but they went away after three days.

      But by day four, bad moods, boredom, hunger, lack of energy and brain fog were bumming me out. I was no longer able to think very much, about anything at all.

      In the second week, things improved considerably, including memory and concentration.

      You will only think of food, to the point of obsession

      Food preoccupied me like never before. I spent a lot of time thinking about various meals of the past that I have enjoyed. Seeing a picture of pizza on my Twitter feed made me feel so much longing that I couldnt sleep. Its like being horny, times a thousand. I would stop outside restaurants to watch people eat. I licked food, secretly at home, then threw it in the bin. I missed chewing.

      When I was out with a friend who was eating hot chips, I snatched one from his plate, licked it and felt it in my mouth, then threw it in the bin without swallowing it. He was disgusted. He also told me that my new gaunt face made me look like a PR chick.

      People have strong opinions on detoxing

      On day 10 I woke up with chest pains. Am I having a heart attack? I panicked. The pain subsided and I visited my GP who was surprisingly mellow about the fast. He told me that fasting had been around forever and human beings are quite good at it due to long periods of time not catching things in the wilderness. He also said that fasting is good from an ethical perspective because you get to understand what its like to go without food.

      Other people thought it was dangerous, despite the fact that the current Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy did the same program (he lost 13kg). Friends couldnt fathom not eating for that long, and wondered if I might actually die from starvation.

      I spoke to a professor from the nutrition school at the Queensland University of Technology who said, When you fast for more than three or four days, all you do is reduce your metabolism.

      Stuff comes out of your body

      This was a mystery. Why, if I was not eating anything was my body expelling so much STUFF? It was gross. What was it? Where did it come from? A Google search revealed weird pictures of things in toilet bowls that other fasters had taken. It was horrible, yet in that deprived state, strangely compelling.

      You reassess food intake

      When I started eating again, I was full after one bean and a tiny piece of fish. It was delicious. I did not need any more food. I thought back to all the times when I needed a snack after two or three hours. I needed it! Well, perhaps I didnt need it.

      Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/14/thinking-of-doing-a-detox-diet-be-warned-this-is-what-happens-to-your-body

      Add These Four Foods To Your Diet And Your Body Will Burn More Fat

      January is proven to be the month where gyms are the busiest. With New Year’s resolutions in full force, you’ll often find a long line for the shoulder press, and you’ll definitely be hard-pressed to get ample room in your usual morning Zumba class. Year-round gym-goers may joke around at the end of the year to prepare for the resolution rush, but it’s very real.

      While working out is crucial for getting healthy, happy, and fit,you won’t make any progress as long as you keep fueling your body with junk. You can do as many burpees, squats, sprints, deadlifts, and downward dogs as you want, but if you continue with the sweets and luxurious dinners out of moderation, you’ll never reach your resolution. But where do you begin? You never want to deprive your body of what it needs, or your sweet tooth from what it wants entirely.

      For starters, learning about what specific foods do to your body can really help you make the perfect get-happy plan for 2016.Did you know that some foods can actually help your body burn fat faster? Some of them may already be some of your favorite foods, and you just didn’t know it. Add these four fat-burning foods to your diet, alongside your favorite exercises, and you’re already on your way to looser jeans.

      Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/four-fat-burning-foods/

      Mediterranean diet wins again, helps bones

      (CNN)The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its health benefits on your heart and waistline, but now your bones could benefit too, according to a new study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

      In this study, researchers examined whether diet quality affects bone health in postmenopausal women. They found that women who ate a Mediterranean diet were slightly less likely to suffer from hip fractures.
        The Mediterranean diet is relatively easy to follow. It involves eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish. You should limit the amount of meat, dairy, and saturated fat you eat, but on the bright side you can have a glass of red wine at dinner.
        “Our results provide assurance that widely recommended eating patterns do not increase the risk of fractures,” said lead study author Dr. Bernhard Haring of the University of Wurzburg in Germany. “This being said, the average woman should follow a healthy lifestyle which includes adopting a healthy dietary pattern and being physically active.”
        Osteoporosis-related fractures are a major burden for health care systems in aging societies, with women particularly affected, said Dr. Haring. Current research results have been inconclusive about whether intake of nutrients involved in bone metabolism can prevent fractures.
        However, the results of this study suggest that a healthy diet, specifically a Mediterranean diet, might play a small role in maintaining bone health in postmenopausal women.

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        This latest Mediterranean diet research builds on previous evidence that your health might benefit if you follow this diet. It’s been shown that the Mediterranean diet can keep your brain young, help you live longer, manage your weight better, and lower your risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
        “At the present time, the U.S. health system almost entirely ignores nutrition in favor of pharmacology and is hugely expensive and ineffective compared with the systems in other countries,” wrote Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health, in a related commentary. “Integration of the Mediterranean diet and related dietary patterns into medical practice, hospitals, schools and other institutions has the potential to improve well-being.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/28/health/mediterranean-diet-wins-again-helps-bones/index.html

        How to stop sugar sneaking into your child’s diet

        (CNN)A lollipop after a morning doctor visit. A cupcake for a classmate’s birthday with lunch. A bag of cookies, gummies or a few little doughuts before after-school activities begin.

        And dessert is still a few hours away.
          Even the word “snack” — once thought of as a healthy, energizing source of calories for children — can seem like a euphemism for a sugar solution IV these days.
          “Sugar (specifically fructose) is metabolized in the liver just like alcohol,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. “This is why children are getting the diseases of alcohol, like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, without the alcohol. These are diseases that were unheard-of in children prior to 1980.”
          According to the CDC’s 2014 diabetes report card (PDF), more than 5,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes are estimated to be diagnosed among Americans younger than age 20 each year.
          There’s also been an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome in adolescents; that’s a cluster of conditions, including increased blood pressure and excess fat around the waist, that can increase diabetes and heart disease risk. Lustig’s recent research, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, found that it wasn’t the fault of the pounds that sugar packs on to young people; it was another result of excess sugar.
          “Sugar doesn’t cause disease just because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it’s sugar,” Lustig said. “Thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, too. Obesity increases the risk, but sugar is an independent risk factor apart from calories or obesity.”

          Sweet suggestions

          So what can parents do to keep sugar from overtaking their kids’ diets? Here are a few suggestions from experts.
          Don’t deprive your kids of sweets.
          Despite the consequences, health professionals agree that parents shouldn’t deprive their child of sweets.
          “Sugar is not a ‘toxin’ that must be excluded from a child’s diet,” Isoldi said. “Often, children who have sweets restricted and feel deprived will not learn how to regulate sweets. Instead, they often overindulge whenever the possibility is presented.
          “The key is to help children find a balance with food, helping them learn how to enjoy healthy foods and enjoy (and self-regulate) treats.”
          Even Lustig agrees. “I’m for dessert — for dessert. I’m not for dessert for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks,” he said.
          Allow children one sweet treat or dessert per day.
          Good choices include animal crackers, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. However, if kids are set on having chocolate chip cookies, this should not create a “food fight,” Isoldi said. And — deep breath — don’t restrict portions, even if it makes you anxious to watch.
          “Parents should let their little one decide on the amount to eat, because only allowing one or two cookies will create a restrictive environment that is counterproductive.” That doesn’t mean that you have to offer the whole box, however. You can start by giving your child two cookies, but instead of saying, “You may have ONLY two cookies, do you hear me?” you can instead say, “Here are two cookies. Oh, you want three? Sure.” The idea is that your child should be able to learn his or her own internal satiety cues, which can ultimately help prevent eating issues later in life.
          Keep fruit drinks, soda and sugary beverages out of the house.
          “There’s no nutritional benefit to drinking sugar-sweetened beverages,” Isoldi said. AND although liquid calories can still add up, you don’t feel as full as you would from solid foods. The result? People who drink sugary beverages don’t necessarily cut back on their calorie intake to compensate.
          For an alternative to soda, dilute 4 ounces unsweetened juice with 4 ounces seltzer water and flavor with lemon, lime or other fresh fruit.
          Watch out for sugars in foods that you don’t think of as sweet.
          Keep an eye on breads, sauces and condiments by searching ingredient lists for names such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, sucrose or other words ending in “ose,” evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, malt syrup and molasses. Food packages will soon list “added sugars” as a separate line on nutrition labels, so the amount of these sugars will no longer be “hidden.”
          Remember, even natural sugar is sugar.
          Many people think that “natural” sugars like honey and agave are healthier than ones that are more highly processed, like sucrose or table sugar. But when you look closely, you see that all of these sugars contain fructose and glucose. And while honey may offer some antioxidants, you would probably have to consume a lot of honey calories in order to experience any health benefits. Honey and agave are actually sweeter than table sugar and contain more calories: One teaspoon of sucrose has 16 calories, while 1 teaspoon of agave or honey has 21 calories.

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          This doesn’t mean foods containing natural sugars aren’t healthy. But how these natural sugars are packaged matters.
          A piece of whole fruit like an apple contains naturally occurring fructose, but it also delivers 4.4 grams of fiber, thanks to the peel and pulp. Apple juice, on the other hand, lacks fiber and is a more concentrated source of sugar and calories. This translates to a more rapid rise in blood sugar when you drink juice — and may even help explain why eating whole fruit, including apples, has been associated with decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, while greater consumption of fruit juices has been associated with a higher risk, according to a Harvard study published in 2013.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/02/health/sugar-limits-for-children/index.html

          Arsenic, rice and your baby’s diet

          (CNN)Ask any mom or dad to name their baby’s first food. The likely answer? Rice cereal. What’s a common go-to “healthy” snack for toddlers and kiddos? Rice cakes.

          Yet a growing amount of scientific evidence is pointing to an alarming connection between inorganic arsenic in brown and white rice and harm to children’s immune systems and intellectual development.


            “Best first foods for infants are avocado, pureed veggies, peanut-butter oatmeal and salmon,” Altmann said. “They all provide important nutrients that babies need, help develop their taste buds to prefer healthy food and may decrease food allergies.”
            She believes meats are a better source of iron and zinc for babies than rice cereal, “so I haven’t been recommending rice cereal as a first food for several years.”
            And if parents insist on rice cereal, Altmann said, “I always recommend brown rice over white rice. I personally prefer whole-grain oatmeal mixed with peanut butter to decrease risk of peanut allergies later in life, and quinoa cereal mixed with vegetables.”
            What about snack foods?

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            “There’s no reason that snack food has to be packaged and processed,” Altmann said. “I recommend parents offer real, single-ingredient foods as much as possible for both meals and snacks.”
            Altmann recommends “berries, steamed or cooked veggies, peanut puffs, Greek yogurt, string cheese, a thin layer of nut butter on whole-grain bread, hard-boiled or scrambled egg, whole-grain O-shaped cereal and pieces of lean chicken (or whatever is left over from lunch or dinner).”

            Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

            Mediterranean diet linked to lower risk of heart attack, stroke

            (CNN)The list of Mediterranean diet benefits is getting even longer. A new study found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish and unrefined foods is linked to a lower risk of heart attack and stroke in people who have heart disease.

            The latest research builds on previous evidence that your health might benefit if you follow the Mediterranean diet. It can help your bones, keep your brain young, help you live longer, manage your weight better (PDF) and lower your risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
              The current study examined more than 15,000 people in 39 countries around the world, all with stable heart disease and an average age of 67. Researchers asked about their diet, including how many times a week they consumed servings from food groups such as meat, fish, dairy, whole grains or refined grains, vegetables, fruit, desserts, sweets, sugary drinks, deep-fried foods and alcohol. Participants were given a “Mediterranean diet score,” based on consumption of healthy foods, or a “Western diet score,” based on consumption of unhealthy foods.
              Drayer said the Mediterranean diet is consistent with the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines and other diets, such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which have proved to be protective in terms of disease prevention. She recommends including foods from the Mediterranean diet, such as salmon, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and even a glass of wine, to keep our hearts healthy.
              “The diet has proven itself, and it behooves every one of us to eat more fish on a regular basis, to have half of our plate filled with produce and to enjoy the occasional glass of wine,” she said. “And the more consistent you are with this type of diet, the more impact it has on your health.”

              Study isn’t a ‘green light’ for unhealthy foods

              The researchers also found that consuming a Western diet did not increase the risk of cardiovascular events. Stewart said this is surprising because such a diet includes foods known to increase the risk of obesity.
              Although the study didn’t find an association with the Western diet, Drayer said it’s still important to limit processed and fried foods, since they’ve been shown to increase weight gain, cholesterol and heart disease risk.

              See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

              The study does have some limitations, as it relied on people’s memories of what they ate, and the questionnaire didn’t define a serving size. The study was also part of a drug trial, but the findings of this study were not related to the drug.
              Stewart and Drayer both caution that these new findings don’t mean people can consume unhealthy foods without restrictions.
              “This study should not give people the green light to go ahead and eat large portions of sugary foods and beverages and deep-fried foods,” Drayer said. “But this study shows that it’s never too late to make changes in your diet, and it can be particularly beneficial to include healthy foods.”

              Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

              Whole-wheat bread and other ‘healthy’ foods diet experts avoid

              (CNN)We know nutrition pros load up on wild salmon, ancient grains, and kale, but what virtuous-seeming fare will you never find on their plates? Here are the health-halo items they leave right on the shelves.

              No-Sugar-Added Ice Cream

                “I never buy no-sugar-added or light ice creams. The no-sugar-added types may have up to 18 additional ingredients, including artificial sweeteners that can even produce a laxative effect! Go for the real thing — not only will you be more satisfied with less, you’ll be doing your health and digestive system a favor.” — Maggie Michalczyk, RD, a nutritionist in New York City

                Puffed Veggie Chips

                “They can contain highly processed oils or partially hydrogenated oils, added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors. Choose one with ingredients you can pronounce like olive oil, sea salt, lemon, apple cider vinegar, herbs, spices. My go-to homemade dressing is: 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 fresh lemon juiced, 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, a pinch of salt and pepper. ” — Megan Roosevelt, RD, founder and host of The Healthy Grocery Girl Cooking Show on YouTube

                Whole-wheat bread

                “This is one of the ultimate cons and deceivers. The glycemic index of wheat bread is 69. This load causes extreme blood sugar elevations, which results in high insulin response, and ultimately in inflammation and fat accumulation.” — Mark Sherwood, NO, and Michele Sherwood, DO, founders of the Functional Medical Institute in Tulsa and authors of The Quest for Wellness

                Cold-Pressed Juices

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                “While these juices often contain a great deal of fruits and/or vegetables, the amount of sugar is extremely high. Also, the juicing process destroys much of the beneficial fiber in the produce. Lastly, your body can only absorb so many vitamins and minerals at one time. So a great deal of the nutrients are not absorbed.” — Natalie Rizzo, RD, a nutritionist in New York City
                This article originally appeared on Health.com.

                Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/