Jun
01
2008

Boost Babies’ Health with Mom’s Diet

Prenatal supplements and good advice on proper nutrition during pregnancy have long been included in proper prenatal care. Importance has been placed on folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in the fetal development. Calcium is recommended, often in the form of dairy products, but it does not end there: just swallowing the supplement and adding some more milk may be helpful but not quite enough. Certain dietary habits have been found more beneficial, such as the eating habits in the Mediterranean countries. A research team from the University of Crete in Heraclion, Greece included women who were involved in antenatal care at all general practices in Menorca, Spain. The study took place in the time frame of 12 month starting in 1997. After six and a half years 460 children were also included in the analysis.

Dietary habits were studied and assessed by food questionnaires and the children were assessed for the development of allergies and asthma.

Boost Babies’ Health with Mom’s Diet

Boost Babies’ Health with Mom’s Diet

The children of mothers who consumed the most vegetables, fish and legumes were almost 80% less likely to have persistent wheeze and more than 40 % less likely to have allergies. The results are consistent with the fact that a high level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy is protective not only to the mother but also to the child.

More information about prenatal visits (where nutritional habits are checked as well): http://nethealthbook.com/womens-health-gynecology-and-obstetrics/pregnancy-labor-delivery-2/prenatal-visits/

Reference: The Medical Post, April 22, 2008, page 25

Last edited December 18, 2014

Aug
01
2007

More Fiber in Diet Lowers Diabetes Risk

Skipping breakfast seems to be nothing unusual for many individuals. Busy lives and hectic schedules contribute to a rush in the early morning. It has been emphasized by several articles, that breakfast is indeed important for a healthy jumpstart of the day. A German study which has been published in the May 14 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine points out more clearly why breakfast may well be the most important meal of the day.

More than 25,000 adults were enrolled in a study, which found that the intake of fiber can be an effective nutritional tool to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The connection between type 2 diabetes and the intake of cereal, fruit, vegetable and associated fiber intake, also the intake of soluble and insoluble fiber and magnesium were closely examined. During the seven year period of follow-up 844 cases of diabetes 2 were identified.

The study found that the consumption of 29 grams per day of soluble fiber was associated with a significantly lower risk of 21% less diabetes. Soluble fiber, including pectin is mostly found in fruit, vegetables and legumes. Roughage alone such as wheat bran, whole grains and brown rice was not associated with a lower diabetes risk.

Once the source of fiber was broken down according to origin (fruit, vegetable or cereal), the study found that the participants who consumed the highest part of cereal fiber had a 28% lower risk of diabetes compared to those who had the lowest amount of cereal fiber intake. High magnesium intake was associated with a 23% lower risk.

More Fiber in Diet Lowers Diabetes Risk

More Fiber in Diet Lowers Diabetes Risk

It has to be stressed that not every breakfast cereal qualifies as a source of high cereal fiber. Consumers must become educated and be aware of the fiber content in food servings to ensure that they are getting the necessary amount to reap the benefits.

More information on:

1. fiber in diet (also helps with metabolic syndrome): http://nethealthbook.com/hormones/metabolic-syndrome/

2. diabetes (type 2): http://nethealthbook.com/hormones/diabetes/type-2-diabetes/

Reference: May 14, 2007 Edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine

Last edited November 3, 2014

Mar
01
2007

Olive Oil No Magic Elixir

Health trends come and go, and some myths need to be demystified, such as the notion that we need a lot of one beneficial food to achieve good health. The Mediterranean diet has become a buzz word in the public, and there is certainly nothing wrong with a diet that emphasizes the benefits of vegetables and fish with omega-3 fatty oil. These figure prominently in foods of the Mediterranean. Olive oil, which is one of the fat sources, has been also touted as a “miracle food”, and the benefits of the healthy fats to which it belongs have received a lot of attention.
Dr. James Kenney, who holds a PhD in nutrition at the at the Pritikin Longevity Centre, questions inflated health claims of olive oil. No matter, which way you look at it, olive oil remains a calorie-dense and nutrient-poor food. Pound for pound, like all refined oils, olive oil has more than 4000 calories, and 13% to 14% of the calories in olive oil come from saturated fat. The good news is that compared to lard (38% saturated fat) and butter (63% saturated fat) olive oil is the better choice. People who switch from butter to olive oil will see a reduction of cholesterol, reports Dr. Kenney. The reason is that they are eliminating a lot of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol that was in the butter. Olive oil itself does not lower cholesterol, as monounsaturated fatty acids do not raise or lower cholesterol. As a result it is not a good idea to freely pour olive oil into salads, over vegetables or to dip white bread into it, transforming it into an oil-dripping calorie bomb.

Olive Oil No Magic Elixir

Olive Oil No Magic Elixir

Olive oil can be compared to rocked fuel: it is a high calorie food, and if you plan to go on a long distance bike excursion across the country, you’ll clearly need more fuel than if you are working at a sedentary job in an office. Olive oil should be used like salt. It is a condiment, and choosing extra virgin olive oil in a spray pump gives us a boost of flavor. The real beneficial food sources in the Mediterranean diet are fruit, vegetables, beans, small amounts of whole grain and omega-3 rich fish. Flavonoids and antioxidants in the fruit and vegetables are some of the main players, but lifestyle and genetics may also play a role.

More about fats, the good, the bad and the ugly here: http://nethealthbook.com/health-nutrition-and-fitness/nutrition/fat-good-bad-fatty-acids/

Reference: The Medical Post, February 2, 2007, page 17

Last edited November 2, 2014

Dec
01
2005

Food Habits Related To Asthma

High quality dietary data have made it possible for a research team in North Carolina to address how a diet rich in meat, salt, starches (=refined carbohydrate) and fat can have an impact on respiratory problems and asthma.
Stephanie London and her team examined the data of 52,535 people between the ages of 45 and 74 years of age. A baseline examination was started in 1993, and follow-ups were done in 1999. All of the participants lived in Singapore. After adjustments were made for age, gender, smoking and education. It was observed that dietary habits could make a difference to respiratory health. Two eating patterns emerged: one group gravitated towards dim sum, meat and noodle dishes, whereas the other group favored fruit, vegetables and soy products. The “meat and dim sum” group had a 1.43 times higher risk of developing breathing problem, new-onset cough and phlegm formation. There was also a link to chronic respiratory disease and asthma.

The researchers concluded also, that the habits observed in the Singapore study are very much in keeping with dietary habits in western countries, where one group consumes foods high in starch, fat, meat and sodium and a second group has a more health conscious approach preferring, vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, poultry and whole grains.
As a result the same recommendations are applicable to in western countries: stick to food choices with a low glycemic index and skip the noodle dishes. Stay away from trans fats and limit the saturated fats, which means turning away from deep-fried foods and limiting meat intake. Choose fish, vegetables and legumes, and avoid the high sodium content, which is common in many premixed and prepared foods. If you are doing the cooking, go easy on salt, and ban the saltshaker from the dining table.

Food Habits Related To Asthma

Food Habits Related To Asthma

A lot has been said about good food habits and a reduction in cancers and heart disease. What is new is the fact that food habits also have an impact on the health of our respiratory system.

More on inflammation as a cause of arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer: http://nethealthbook.com/about/overview/

Reference: Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2005

Last edited October 29, 2014

Mar
01
2005

Liver Cirrhosis Threatens Overweight Children

Generally the condition of liver cirrhosis has been associated with excessive alcohol intake, and the victims have been adults.
A similar condition is the fatty infiltration of the liver, where the function becomes impaired through the growth of fatty tissue, which replaces healthy tissue. In its worst form this non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can advance to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. So far this devastating course of illness has been seen in adults, but it is not confined to the adult population. The most important risk factor for this disease is obesity, and with one in three children in Canada now overweight, the previous adult-only disease is now affecting kids. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is now the most common cause of abnormal liver tests.

Dr. Ariel Feldstein, a pediatric gastroenterologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester reports that the average age of children with these symptoms is about 12, which is an alarmingly low age for this picture. There is also a warning, that children do not even have to sport a sky-high body-mass index (BMI). The risk is already significant with a high BMI.The most direct approach to prevent type 2 diabetes and fatty-liver disease in children has to start within the family. Instead of singling out the child it is important to work together as a family to become healthier. The terms”fat”, “chubby”, “exercise” and “diet” are less conducive to improvement than “physical activity” and “better nutrition”. Consistent minor changes are also more important than crash diets that come and go.

Liver Cirrhosis Threatens Overweight Children

Liver Cirrhosis Threatens Overweight Children

Eating more vegetables and fruit, not eating and snacking mindlessly in front of the TV, eating together as a family and preparing healthy snacks instead of tossing a cookie bar or a bag of chips into the lunch bag are all ways that benefit the entire family.
A study from Dr. Robert Berkowitz at the Children’s’ Hospital of Philadelphia affirms even more, that prevention has to start with the parents: children born to overweight mothers have a higher risk of following the pattern of having a high body mass index than those whose parents were normal weight.

More information about liver cirrhosis: http://nethealthbook.com/digestive-system-and-gastrointestinal-disorders/liver-cirrhosis/

Reference: The Medical Post, February 15, 2005, page 21

Last edited October 27, 2014

Jan
01
2005

Doctor Recommended Diet Against Obesity

After overindulging over the holidays, new years resolutions often have diets and life style choices high on the list.
These concerns are not something new. Doctors have had concerns about heart disease, diabetes, bulging waistlines and elevated cholesterol. For over three decades there have been concerns that elevated insulin levels may be associated with heart disease, and the constellation of symptoms was called “syndrome X” and later the “insulin resistance syndrome”.

Most recently the evils that are associated with body fat have been called the “metabolic syndrome”.The problem has assumed epidemic proportions: by 2001, 30% of US adults were considered obese with a body mass index of over 30, and 50% were overweight with a body mass index over 25. The form of type 2 diabetes (the adult onset of the disease) is predicted to double in the next 20 years. Physicians are reporting that they are seeing increasing numbers of children who are obese and suffer of type 2 diabetes. The major concern with an accumulation of body fat is the area of the abdomen (think of the “apple shape” with fat around the abdomen). This visceral fat tissue is not just innocently sitting there stopping you from closing buttons and zippers. It is very metabolically active and the substances it releases are a threat to your health. These fat cells secret pro-inflammatory substances called “cytokines.”

They also form substances that influence blood-clotting, factors that increase insulin resistance, substances like angiotensin, which are signing responsible for high blood pressure as well. Among the host of damaging substances is also the C-reactive protein, which is recognized as a risk factor for heart disease.

Doctor Recommended Diet Against Obesity

Doctor Recommended Diet Against Obesity

There is only one solution: to reduce the risk, excessive weight has to be shed. A sensible diet to achieve that goal has to contain less saturated fat, more fiber, and low glycemic index carbohydrates. Proper dietary habits are only one part. The other as important measure is life style intervention, which includes 2.5 to 3 hours of moderate exercise per week.
Many of the current diets promise weight loss without compromising health. All of them promote weight loss, provided they are strictly adhered to.
The high protein diets (Atkins, Protein Power Plan) are useful for rapid initial weight loss, however due to the overload of protein long term use is highly questionable. Kidney dysfunction as a consequence is a threat to health and no benefit at all!
Moderate carbohydrate diets, moderate fat, as well as moderate protein will remain the answer for long-term life style changes. It is also of significance that the glycemic index of carbohydrates plays a major role. Food intake, which favors carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, is associated with less heart disease. It has also been documented that insulin levels are more stable. Low glycemic carbohydrates include most vegetables, beans, lentils, as well as fruit like apples, pears and oranges. In contrast, high glycemic carbohydrates result in a fast insulin release, which ultimately leads to insulin resistance. Among these items are potatoes, crackers and other flour products, rice, puffed or flaked breakfast cereals, and tropical fruit (papayas, pineapple, melons).

For short-term dieters, it is an option to embark on any of the current diets without deleterious effects, no matter whether they are high-carb or low-carb. But at this point only the diets with moderate carbohydrates have shown to have some benefits on heart health.
Ultimately the wiser choice is to consume foods with a low to moderate glycemic index, by increasing the intake of vegetable proteins and oils and by choosing increased servings of vegetables and fruit instead of highly processed items. So, when you next walk through your supermarket, remember that most of the good stuff is in the periphery, namely the area where all the fresh, unprocessed or minimally processed foods are found.

More info about Mediterranean diet: http://nethealthbook.com/news/mediterranean-diet-benefits-us-workers/

Reference: Metabolic Syndrome Rounds, Oct. 2004, Vol. 2, Issues 8, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto/On/Canada

Last edited October 27, 2014

Nov
01
2002

Nuts Cut Heart Attacks And Strokes In Half

According to Dr. Elliot M. Berry of Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem and Dr. Ram B. Singh of the Medical Hospital and Research Centre, Moradabad/India, the word is out that a Mediterranean diet with walnuts and almonds, fruits and vegetables can safe lives and prevent heart attacks.

In a paper, published in the medical journal Lancet 2002;360:1455-1461, 1000 Asian patients with a high risk for heart disease and strokes were put on two diets: a “control” heart smart diet and the experimental diet,which consisted of the Mediterranean diet.

Surprisingly,not only did the high risk patients benefit from the Mediterranean diet, but also the control group that had already been on a healthy heart smart diet. Over 2 years the heart attack
rates, death rates and heart disease event rates were all roughly cut into half on the Mediterranean diet. Cholesterol levels were significantly reduced,as much as would have been achieved with expensive cholesterol lowering medications. According to Dr.Berry the key to the understanding of this is found in the alpha-linoleic acid found in nuts and almonds. It is a precursor of the omega-3-fatty acids also found in fish oil, which in turn lower cholesterol, prevent blood clotting and are a natural remedy to prevent inflammation in the body.

Nuts Cut Heart Attacks And Strokes In Half

Nuts Cut Heart Attacks And Strokes In Half

Further investigations will be done by the research team to understand the mechanism of action of the healthy Mediterranean diet. In the meantime Dr. Berry stressed that other lifestyle changes must accompany the Mediterranean diet, namely an active exercise program and regular relaxation exercises such as yoga.

You may want to read these useful related links to chapters of
my free Internet based Nethealthbook:

Hardening of the arteries:
http://www.nethealthbook.com/articles/cardiovasculardisease_heartdisease.php

Fitness: http://nethealthbook.com/health-nutrition-and-fitness/fitness/

Last edited October 25, 2014