Substituting commonly used foods containing saturated fats with foods containing polyunsaturated fats significantly reduces cholesterol levels and heart disease risk after only two months, according to a Norwegian study. The clinical trial involved 115 people who had moderately high cholesterol levels who were randomly assigned to either a polyunsaturated fat diet group or a high-saturated fat group. For the polyunsaturated diet group, common foods such as spread for bread, cooking fats, cheese, bread and cereals contained only polyunsaturated fats. After eight weeks, total cholesterol dropped in this group by nine percent, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol dropped 11 percent. These changes correspond to a 27 percent reduction in the... More
"Exchanging a few commercial, regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial. ", British Journal of Nutrition, October 24, 2016
Normal physical fitness is usually characterized by a smaller waist, no diabetes or hypertension, and no excess weight or obesity – the chief risk factors for heart disease. But Canadian researchers have determined that lower physical fitness – even as much as 20 percent below the healthy population average – can also serve to prevent those five risk factors. The study involved 205 men and 44 women with heart disease who took a stationary bicycle stress test. The researchers said the easiest way to achieve normal physical fitness is to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization: 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.
"Preventive fraction of physical fitness on risk factors in cardiac patients", Study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress on October 21, 2016, October 24, 2016
Walking 10,000 steps a day is an ideal health goal, but significant health benefits can come from fewer steps as long as 3,000 of them are at a brisk pace. The U.S. researchers analyzed data from 3,388 participants age 20 and older from a national health survey. The found that a good target for healthy adults is 150 minutes a week at a level of 100 or more steps a minute, with as little sedentary time as possible during the day. A tempo of 100 steps a minute or greater is considered the threshold for moderate-intensity activity in adults.
"Step-based Physical Activity Metrics and Cardiometabolic Risk. ", Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, October 24, 2016
U.S. sales of gluten-free foods hit $1.57 billion, in 2015, an increase of 11 percent from 2014. That’s a slower increase than the 81 percent in 2013, but still beats overall grocery sales growth of three percent. The explosion of gluten-free products is a “blessing” for celiac disease sufferers. The odd fact, however, is that only one percent of the U.S. population actually suffers from gluten intolerance. Surveys have found that the rest buy gluten-free foods because they believe they are “generally healthier” or will help them lose weight. About 25 percent of consumers think "gluten-free is good for everyone." Health professionals, however, say this is a misconception, and that those without a diagnosis of gluten intolerance don... More
"You Can Eat Gluten Again, America", Bloomberg, October 14, 2016
The clean-label movement in the food industry – which is partly a quest to get rid of unsavory chemical preservatives – is driving the growth of the in-pack antimicrobial market, as well as other “active packaging” technologies, according to a U.S. market research firm. The company studied the technologies being used today, and those in development, to meet clean-label shelf-life requirements and fend off specific pathogens. Lux Research looked at 35 systems, including Addmaster’s Biomaster silver ion technology. Linpac Packaging uses the technology in trays for meat, poultry and other protein to protect against various pathogens, but it is especially effective against campylobacter. Other technologies being considered include... More
"Antimicrobial growth led by clean-label", Food Manufacture, October 05, 2016
The health and wellness trend is affecting a cherished tradition of the U.S. education system: school fundraisers. More and more school systems are rejecting junk food sales – cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. – and turning to other activities to raise needed cash. Among these are athletic events, including jog-athons and fun runs, to scratch up money needed to support programs ignored by the school system budget. A main reason for the trend is growing concerns about childhood obesity. But it is being driven by the availability of sophisticated social media-based marketing programs that bring in larger amounts of cash and don’t really need the help of parent volunteers.
"Fewer Bake Sales, More Fun Runs", Orange County Register (California), October 05, 2016
People who try to eliminate all grains from their diet – many say it makes them feel better – are missing the point. Grains are in fact an excellent source of nutrients, but only when they are not highly processed. Whole grains retain B vitamins and fiber, minerals like selenium and copper, as well as carbohydrates and varying amounts of protein. Processed grains contain significantly lower amounts of these nutrients. Studies have shown that eating whole grains is associated with lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death from all causes. But diets high in refined grains seem to increase the risk of these health problems.
"Is a Grain-Free Diet Healthy?", Healthline, September 30, 2016