Tag Archives | nutrition

This Was Not Written by a Machine

THIS WAS NOT WRITTEN BY A MACHINE

Somewhere there is a human who, as part of their job, once wrote out the following sentence: “A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT”. Remembering this is not the work of a machine is important, at first my brain casually imagined it might have been[1]. The truth is, a thinking, breathing, living, person is behind that unhelpful statement on the back of  a packet of Wrigley’s gum.

Best case scenario they were a freelance copywriter doing a bit of contract work and had a word limit they needed to be as close to as possible. In this world the words become “filler” material and were only reprinted on an industrial scale because of a quirky clerical requirement. It’s still an irritating waste of resources but it seems less awful than the possibility anyone invested real thought into the process.

Ironically the more consideration that has gone into these words the worse the situation is.… Read the rest

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‘Mindful Eating’ Is as Effective as Traditional Education in Lowering Weight and Blood Sugar

Picture: US GOV (PD)

Via ScienceDaily:

Eating mindfully, or consuming food in response to physical cues of hunger and fullness, is just as effective as adhering to nutrition-based guidelines in reducing weight and blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

In a comparison study of the effectiveness of the two types of behavioral interventions, participants lost about the same amount of weight — an average of between 3 1/2 and 6 pounds — and lowered their long-term blood sugar levels significantly after three months.

One treatment group followed an established diabetes self-management education program, with a strong emphasis on nutrition information. The other group was trained in mindful meditation and a mindful approach to food selection and eating. Both interventions, involving weekly group meetings, also recommended physical activity.

“The more traditional education program includes general information about diabetes, but with more emphasis on nutrition and food choice: What are different types of carbohydrates and fats and how many am I supposed to have?

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An Intro to Farm Shares and Community Sponsored Agriculture

Comics artist Colleen Doran writes a quick and breezy intro to the world of farm shares and farm credit programs. Establishing trustworthy ways to get fresh, healthy, non-GMO food is going to become increasingly important. Doran gives an overview of what’s available and links to get started.

via A Distant Soil:

In almost every major metropolitan area, and most rural areas, you will find farm shares or CSA’s, “Community Sponsored Agriculture”.

A CSA is, basically, a food subscription service.

Depending on the program (and they vary widely between suppliers,) the CSA will supply weekly, biweekly, or monthly food subscriptions for a flat annual fee which will cover the farming season, usually around half the year. If you live in California where the season is long, you can get a year-round subscription.

The farm will provide you with a prescribed amount of food per drop based on whatever is in season.

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The Scandalous History Of Infant Formula

Jill Krasny gives an overview of the history of Infant Formula, its corporate marketing to third world parents, and the tragic consequences. Every parent should know corporations may not necessarily be primarily concerned with consumers’ health and well-being.

via Business Insider:

Outrage started in the 1970s, when Nestle was accused of getting third world mothers hooked on formula, which is less healthy and more expensive than breast milk.

The allegations led to hearings in the Senate and the World Health Organization, resulting in a new set of marketing rules.

Yet infant formula remains a $11.5-billion-and-growing market…

Read more at Business Insider.… Read the rest

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Is Modern Wheat A ‘Chronic Poison’?

CBS News ponders whether America is being poisoned by food we “improved” via technology:

Modern wheat is a “perfect, chronic poison,” according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world’s most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn’t the wheat your grandma had: “It’s an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said on “CBS This Morning.” “This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten. I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.”

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating “real food,” such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables.

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The Truth About Sports Drinks

If you’ve ever looked at a fluorescent colored so-called “sports drink” (i.e. Gatorade, Powerade and all the wannabes in the category) and wondered if it could possibly quality as a natural, healthy beverage, we now know the answer: No, it’s not. Don’t take my word for it, here’s an exhaustive review of the relevant science by Deborah Cohen in the BMJ:

Prehydrate; drink ahead of thirst; train your gut to tolerate more fluid; your brain doesn’t know you’re thirsty—the public and athletes alike are bombarded with messages about what they should drink, and when, during exercise. But these drinking dogmas are relatively new. In the 1970s, marathon runners were discouraged from drinking fluids for fear that it would slow them down, says Professor Tim Noakes, Discovery health chair of exercise and sports science at Cape Town University. At the first New York marathon in 1970, there was little discussion about the role of hydration—it was thought to have little scientific value.

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Human Ancestors Were For The Most Part Vegetarian

Looking to free your diet from the perversions of modernity and eat paleo-style? When our ancient predecessors were developing their digestive systems, they did so on a steady ration of plants — which are what most primates eat to this day, writes Scientific American:

An entire class of self-help books recommends a return to the diets of our ancestors–Paleolithic diets, caveman diets, primal diets and the like. But what did our ancestors eat?

A paleo diet is an arbitrary thing. Which paleo diet should we eat? The one from twelve thousand years ago? A hundred thousand years ago? Forty million years ago? I would argue that, IF we want to return to our ancestral diets, we might reasonably eat what our ancestors spent the most time eating during the largest periods of the evolution of our guts. If that is the case, we need to be eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables—especially fungus-covered tropical leaves.

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Congress Declares Pizza A Vegetable For School Lunches

pizzaPizza contains two tablespoons of tomato paste and thus will remain the healthy, vegetable portion of children’s lunch across the nation. The move draws criticism from nutritionists but kudos from the head of the American Frozen Food Institute, reports MSNBC:

Congress wants to keep pizza and french fries on school lunch lines, fighting back against an Obama administration proposal to make school lunches healthier.

The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year, which included limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line and delaying limits on sodium and delaying a requirement to boost whole grains. The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to prevent that.

Food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes, and some conservatives in Congress say the federal government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat.

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Do Students Eat Like Prisoners?

Good Magazine looks at the similarity between prison meals and children’s school cafeteria food — both rich in starch-y/milk-y goodness, and costing around $2.65 per day to provide. It should also be pointed out that both children and prisoners are daily confined to small spaces and given little opportunity to burn off these massive calorie counts. I suppose school is intended to be practice for where the kids will eventually end up?

transparencyRead the rest

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Does A Low-Salt Diet Really Feed A Healthy Heart?

SaltmillHas your doctor always told you that a low sodium diet will help keep your heart healthy? You may have to take that advice with a grain of salt. Gina Kolata at The New York Times reports:

A new study found that low-salt diets increase the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes and do not prevent high blood pressure, but the research’s limitations mean the debate over the effects of salt in the diet is far from over.

In fact, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention felt so strongly that the study was flawed that they criticized it in an interview, something they normally do not do.

Dr. Peter Briss, a medical director at the centers, said that the study was small; that its subjects were relatively young, with an average age of 40 at the start; and that with few cardiovascular events, it was hard to draw conclusions.

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