Junk food alters gut bacteria in one day

What type of microbacteria are lurking in your gut? The following article by Dr. Gabe Mirkin of www.DrMirkin.com demonstrates amazing evidence that a diet consisting of high sugar, high fat and processed foods significantly affects our bacterial gut health. This could be one of the pieces of the puzzle in explaining the mystery of why many seekers of weight loss struggle to lose the pounds even when they eat less.

After just one day of switching from a plant-based diet to a high-fat-and-sugar diet, mice with human intestinal bacteria developed bacteria associated with obesity in humans, and soon became grossly obese (Science Translational Medicine, November 11, 2009)

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University in St Louis first showed that certain types of bacteria in the human intestinal tract can break down food more efficiently and help you absorb a greater percentage of calories from the food that you eat. He also showed that humans whose intestinal tracts are dominated by these bacteria tend to be overweight. [Read more...]

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Study: Processed food feeds depression

Can healthy eating habits combat depression? According to recent research from the University College London it’s very possible.

Many people eat diets that are high in fat, but are comprised mainly of trans fat or saturated fat from fried or fast foods. Not good, says Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez.

“The membranes of our neurons are composed of fat, so the quality of fat that you are eating definitely has an influence on the quality of the neuron membranes, and the body’s synthesis of neurotransmitters is dependent on the vitamins you’re eating,” Martinez-Gonzalez said.

It’s important to eat fats, but choosing the right type of fats is key. In simple language, fats are essential for the utilization of vitamins that assist with proper brain function. Our brains use fatty acids from fat to create the specialized cells that help us to think and feel.

We need a balance of fats so that our diets are comprised of 20% of total fats, with only 10% of total fat coming from the saturated kind like milk, coconut oil, butter or fats that are solid at room temperature. (Read more by Lori on this topic after the article below).

LONDON (AFP) – A diet heavy in processed and fatty foods increases the risk of depression, according to British research published on Monday.

Researchers at University College London also found that a diet including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish could help prevent the onset of depression. [Read more...]

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Beans do more than you think

One thing I’ll never forget and often share with clients is a line from one of my college professors. She would always say, “A day without a bean is a bad day.” Our student dietetic association even used this line for our T-shirts!

Tip of the week — A New Twist on an Old Saying

Beans, beans, the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you … may reduce your cholesterol.

It may not be as catchy as the popular children’s rhyme, but beans (that are actually vegetables) may indeed be magical for your health. Rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, folate and iron, popular dried beans include black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pink beans and pinto beans.

The 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating 3 cups of dried beans per week to reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 16 percent. Most Americans eat about a third of this amount. Recent research shows eating one-half cup of pinto beans daily can reduce serum cholesterol by 8 percent.

Full of complex carbohydrates yet fat-free, beans can play a role in weight management by making you feel full without a lot of calories.

Beans are a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber, with 6-8 grams in a half-cup. They promote a healthy digestive tract, may reduce your risk of some types of cancer and can help control diabetes and maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Produced by American Dietary Association

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Recipes for success: Healthy wings

The fall sports season is here in full force and with it comes greasy hot wings and a range of fried foods. Try something different for your favorite game with this healthy twist on a game time favorite suggested by the American Institute for Cancer Research.  Hot sauce and creamy dressing top this chicken and potato-based recipe, but they don’t drive up the fat totals like breaded wings.

BuffaloChickenSaladBuffalo Chicken Salad

2 medium red or white potatoes
2 1/2 cups diced skinless roast chicken breast, in 1″ pieces
1 large celery rib, cut in 3/4″ pieces
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 inch piece seedless cucumber, peeled
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 Tbsp. canola-based mayonnaise
5-6 drops hot sauce
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup (1 oz.) crumbled blue cheese
Place potatoes in deep saucepan and cover to a depth of 2 inches with cold water. Cook potatoes over medium-high heat until thin knife easily penetrates center of potatoes, about 15 minutes. Drain and set potatoes aside until cool enough to handle. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Place potatoes in mixing bowl. Add chicken, celery and onion. Cut cucumber lengthwise into 4 pieces. Cut each piece crosswise into 3/4-inch chunks and add to salad.

For dressing, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, hot sauce, black pepper and salt. Pour dressing over salad and toss with fork to combine.

On serving plate, arrange bed of lettuce. Mound salad on top of lettuce. Sprinkle on blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 250 calories, 8 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 14 g. carbohydrate,
31 g. protein, 2 g. dietary fiber, 330 mg. sodium.

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Sleep more, weigh less?

Want to lose weight?   Perhaps you should get more sleep.

Researchers from Case Western University in Ohio monitored 70,000 women for over a 15-year period and determined that those getting five hours or less of sleep each night 30 percent more likely to gain weight than were those getting seven hours or more of sleep.

Light sleepers also have a significantly higher risk of becoming obese, according to the study supervised by Dr. S. Patel of the university.

What surprised the researchers was that sleeping patterns had a much greater influence on women’s long-term weight than eating habits or physical activity.

At the start of the study, the women who slept up to five hours a night weighed 5.4 pounds more than those who got 7 hours or more. They also put on 1.6 pounds more each year than the good sleepers. [Read more...]

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Keep your produce safe

With fruits and vegetables playing such a big role in healthful eating, it is important to practice proper buying, storing and preparation techniques to ensure the safety of your food. Most health risks that are linked to produce can be eliminated with proper food preparation like thorough cleaning.

Below are more tips from the American Dietetic Association on safely shopping for, storing and preparing your fresh produce.

Buying

* If you go to a farmers’ market, go early to avoid produce that has been sitting out all day long.
* Buy most produce in season when possible.
* If you are not satisfied with the store’s selection, ask the produce manager if there is more available.
* Buy loose produce rather than packaged. You have more control over what you select.
* Don’t purchase produce with mold, bruises or cuts.
* Buy only the amount of produce that you will use within a week.
* Buy only pasteurized juices.

[Read more...]

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Pass this quiz for a longer life

chicken wrap
Heart Healthy Quiz: How Much Do You Know?

1. Which of the following foods is not specifically linked to a reduced risk of heart disease?
a. Garlic
b. Oats
c. Corn
d. Grape juice
e. Nuts

2. The fiber in which of the following foods will lead to a reduction of blood cholesterol?
a. Whole-grain bread
b. Brown rice
c. Bran cereal
d. Carrots
e. Oats

3. What percentage of total deaths in the United States is linked to heart disease?
a. 20%
b. 30%
c. 40%
d. 50%
e. 60% [Read more...]

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‘Supersize me!’ – a major wake-up call

Few movies have opened as many eyes about health habits as has the movie Supersize me! I’ve encouraged many people to watch this frightening account of a young man who ate nothing but fast food for 30 days and nearly died.

I continue to be shocked at the number of people who eat poor-quality fast food, seemingly oblivious to the fact that years of life expectancy are likely melting away as they consume grease-laden, salt-permeated and synthetics-laced food.

You can watch the movie in the YouTube window below. Please encourage others to watch this movie. Perhaps some will change their eating habits and enjoy longer lives as a result.
YouTube Preview Image

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