Tag Archives: Disease Prevention

Healthy Nibbles: 12 March 2012 Edition

19 Mar

From our eyes to yours … here’s what was up in health and nutrition news for the week of March 12th, 2012:

Pic Courtesy of J.Mulik

Can’t get over the taste(lessness) of healthy foods? If you think ‘unprocessed’ is synonymous with ‘unpalatable’, perhaps your taste buds need reprogramming. [The Atlantic]

Managing the plethora of nutrition information currently available can be a challenge for anyone. To help navigate between fact and fiction, here are a few popular nutrition myths, debunked. [Vancouver Sun]

The Guiding Stars® nutrition rating system isn’t the only method around aiming to simplify dietary information. Joint research out of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital suggests that both visual (colour) and spatial (eye level) cues can go a long way towards helping consumers make health-conscious choices. [The Atlantic]

As if the decision to have a baby isn’t weighty enough, moms-to-be may want to consider adding ‘overcoming obesity’ to their pre-pregnancy To Do lists. [Healthland TIME]

Who says people these days don’t read signs? With just the right kind of wording, signs can have a huge impact on behavior. Just ask the growing number of New Yorkers who have not only read the ‘Burn Calories, Not Electricity’ signs, but have opted to take the stairs instead of the elevator, as a result. [The Atlantic]

In spite of their recent rise in popularity, active video game consoles, such as Wii-Fit™, may not be doing much to enhance the actual fitness of children. [National Post]

Instead of eating less, how about just not eating more? According to researchers from Duke University, although this strategy won’t do much to solve the current obesity problem, over time, it may keep the epidemic from growing any bigger (no pun intended). And as far as nutrition advice is concerned, for many people, this kind of approach is much easier to digest than calorie restriction. [Healthland TIME]

Healthy Nibbles: 05 March 2012 Edition

12 Mar

From our eyes to yours … here’s what was up in health and nutrition news for the week of March 5th, 2012:

Pic courtesy of J. Mulik

Following a recent regualtory mandate that warning labels be put on foods containing certain levels of cancer-promoting ingredients, Coca-Cola® and Pepsi® have announced impending changes to the recipe for their iconic caramel colouring. How about just getting rid of the caramel colour all together, because let’s face it, who drinks Coke for its colour? [Healthland TIME]

Contrary to popular belief, Disney may NOT actually be the “happiest place on earth” for all children. Not if you’re an overweight child, anyways. [Vancouver Sun]

When it comes to food labeling, do you know what natural means? Because food experts and regulatory officials don’t always agree. [The Atlantic]

Recent research suggests that both fatness and fitness matter when it comes to promoting a healthy heart. [NY Times]

According to researchers at the University of Laval, healthy isn’t necessarily synonymous with skinny. In fact, they believe that people of every size have the potential to be healthy – provided they focus more on behaviours rather than on scale numbers.  [Vancouver Sun]

Wondering why you just can’t keep from over indulging? Here are some of the most common reasons people tend to overeat, and what you can do to try and minimize that second (… or third) helping. [The Atlantic]

If you’re still on the hunt for a magic weight loss pill, stop. According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, it just doesn’t exist. [Science Daily]

How would you describe the feeling of fat on your tongue? Your answer may be related to your personal preference for fatty foods, and ultimately, your likelihood of obesity. [Science Daily]

Moving from field to plate is no easy task. To better appreciate what you put into your mouth, here’s a journalist’s account of what it’s like on the frontline picking peaches. [The Atlantic]

Healthy Nibbles: Mike Evans Edition

30 Jan

 

The first month of 2012 is nearly finished. Hopefully you’ve had some time to wind down from the holidays and are now in full gear for the year ahead. Like you, I have set my goals for 2012 and am feeling refreshed and rejuvenated to start working towards accomplishing them. A constant item on my new year’s resolution list: “get healthy.”

To maintain momentum while getting healthy, it always helps to remember the big picture benefits behind eating mindfully and exercising regularly. To do this, check out Dr. Mike Evans’ visual lecture on, what according to him, is “The Single Best Thing You Can Do for Your Health.”

Even if the information he provides isn’t new to you, hopefully his unique way of presenting it will help make the take home message all the more salient. Enjoy!

Cheers to The Atlantic for the video.

Healthy Nibbles: 10 October 2011 Edition

17 Oct

From our eyes to yours … here’s what’s up in health and nutrition news for the week of October 10th, 2011:

Groupon, the online group shopping incentive (think group + coupon), has heads turning in Indianapolis for its recent deal-of-the-day on … wait for it … breast milk. That’s right, human B.R.E.A.S.T milk. While the purported health benefits of breast milk are numerous, not all new moms may be able to produce and supply sufficient amounts of it. This particular groupon therefore aims to make accessing it from other sources (i.e. donors) more affordable, essentially bridging yet another gap in nutrition accessibility. Is it weird that since hearing about this groupon all I can think about is Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath? [Healthland TIME]

Thanks to the collaborative effort of researchers from Australia and the United States, another piece of the obesity puzzle has been put into place. Not only does this research highlight the discovery of a novel protein influencing leptin sensitivity (or more specifically, leptin IN-sensitivity), but also that the timing of leptin modulation can impact obesity progression. Just another reminder that there is far more to solving the obesity problem than a simple balancing of calories in and calories out. [Science Daily]

Speaking of modulating sensitivity, researchers from Duke University have found that sensitivity to simvastatin (Zocor®), a conventional pharmaceutical therapy for high cholesterol, may be influenced by the type of microbes present in the gut. Not only does this finding suggest a novel means by which to pre-screen for simvastatin responsiveness (i.e. by identifying what kinds of microbes are present), but also a relatively simple way to improve treatment efficacy (i.e. by consuming simvastatin-friendly probiotics). [Healthland TIME]

Too much of a good thing, any good thing, is rarely a good idea. In fact, according to recent research examining the risk of death in older women and prostate cancer prevention in men, too much of certain supplements may actually do more harm than good. Though a necessary means to compensate for an existing nutrient deficiency, researchers caution against the unnecessary OVER-use of supplements. Instead, they suggest adopting a healthy diet as a safer alternative to achieving optimum nutrient balance. Adding further credence to the benefits of whole foods …

… are the results from a new study out of Oregon State University which suggest that the bioactive constituents of broccoli may be best consumed in vegetable form, rather than as an isolated supplement, in order to maximize their beneficial anti-cancer health effects. Just how many more times does it need to be said? Eat. Your. Vegetables. Even just a little bit, everyday. [Science Daily]


Healthy Nibbles: 01 August 2011 Edition

7 Aug

From our eyes to yours … here’s what’s up in health and nutrition news for the week of August 1st, 2011:

The fight against overeating has gone mechanical. Researchers from Clemson University have developed a new device, much like a pedometer, to count the number of bites taken in a meal and estimate the number of calories consumed. All in an effort to help curb overindulging during meal times. Be forewarned though, they cost a RIDICULOUS $799 (!!!). For all that cash, you’d hope they were a least a lot sexier looking. [TIME Healthland]

In a captivating display of show and tell, a new book entitled “What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets” features the personal stories and portraits of what people around the world consume in an average day. Though each image contains an estimated calorie count, it’s the variety of different products depicted (food and err … cigarettes) that I find particularly compelling. Such a cool concept complete with an important message! [NY Times]

We all know that accessibility is key to healthy eating. After all, if we can’t access quality food, we definitely won’t be able to eat it. Unfortunately, cost is a major prohibitive factor to accessibility. Researchers at the University of Washington have recently put an actual dollar amount to just how much MORE it would cost the average American to comply with the federal government’s current dietary recommendations. Definitely an interesting perspective, but in a perfect world, I’m thinking there shouldn’t be a cost (financial or otherwise) associated with accessibility to healthy food. [TIME Healthland]

Timing of nutrient exposure is key for health promotion, say a slew of new research studies. Some, including that of UofG’s own Prof. David Ma, suggest that maternal intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy has beneficial effects in offspring for breast cancer prevention. A recent study by researchers from Emory University suggest that in utero exposure to omega-3s may also be beneficial for improving symptoms of the common cold. Great news for young children, but is it me or did pregnancy just get a whole lot more intimidating (if that’s even possible)? [Science Daily]

Speaking of breast cancer, omega-3s aren’t the only nutrient to consider for prevention – you might want to add fibre to that list as well. In fact, according to a report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the more you eat on a daily basis the better (for every 10 gram increase in daily fibre there is an estimated 7% risk reduction of breast cancer). To help bolster your daily fibre intake, registered dietitian Leslie Beck identifies various fibre-rich foods and offers some tips on how to easily incorporate them into your daily diet. [Globe & Mail]

Healthy Nibbles: 25 July 2011 Edition

31 Jul

From our eyes to yours … here’s what’s up in health and nutrition news for the week of July 25th, 2011:

As anyone who conducts research involving human participants knows, there is a vast array of paperwork that comes part in parcel with the process. Though the premise behind this mass tree killing is primarily the protection of participants and the encouragement of verifiable science, there has been growing concern that the associated red tape is actually stifling the progress of the research itself. In the hopes of minimizing this administrative burden, the US federal government is proposing various changes to the existing process. Such changes will include centralized ethics boards for multi-site trials and proportionate review for qualitative studies. Sounds great on paper, but the Debbie-downer side of me cautions to wait and see how it pans out in real-life. [NY Times]

Though the token toys of McDonalds’ Happy Meals are here to stay, apple slices will be replacing one half the portion of fries. Acknowledging that this pending change marks a step in the right direction, health advocates are still concerned it represents a band-aid solution in the battle against childhood obesity. And given McDonalds’ notoriously aggressive child-centric ad campaigns, there is particular concern that the addition of apple slices will just mask the Happy Meal’s still sub-par nutritional content. Err … since when did McDonalds even START selling apple slices? From what I could see on TV, I just thought the McRib was back. [TIME Healthland]

What harm can come from a little white lie, right? Okay, that’s up for debate. However, a recent study by researchers from Penn State suggests that modifying standard, child-friendly recipes to incorporate a variety of pureed vegetables can help to increase preschoolers’ daily vegetable intake and decrease their total daily caloric intake. What’s more, the tots still gave the revised meals two (tiny) thumbs up for taste. Now, if only McDonalds could find a way to do something similar with their happy meals (see previous link). [Science Daily]

According to a Dutch study, cranberries fall short compared to their antibiotic counterparts when it comes to preventing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, in spite of these feeble findings in favour of cranberries, additional results from this study are giving some health care practitioners cause to reconsider their potential health benefit; in particular, their improved resilience to the development of antibiotic resistance. Proof positive that there is merit in applying some innovative thinking and critical re-evaluating to traditional science. [TIME Healthland]

Is it me or has gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease (CD) really stolen the spotlight as of late? Not to diminish the experience of sufferers or to downplay the necessity of awareness, but heightened advocacy for CD is evidenced by the growing number of gluten-free food products and eateries. In support of awareness, researchers from Sweden and South Africa have just published the first global estimates of CD and its associated mortality. When it comes to health, every little bit of information helps so here’s to many more scientific advances! [Science Daily]