Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Tag: nutrition advice

aging and intelligence

Ageing and Intelligence

Things are looking up for ageing and intelligence.

A group of population experts from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IILSA) have published a study (published in journal PLOS ONE) that looks at data that was collected in Germany between the period of 2006 – 2012.

Older people are getting smarter, but not fitter

The IILSA researchers found that cognitive test scores increased for both men and women at all ages from 50 – 90, while physical and mental health declined. Low-educated men aged 50 – 64 were even more likely to suffer.

One explanation for the improvement in cognitive performance is lifestyle. The lead researcher, Nadia Steiber suggests that life has become more cognitively challenging; from the use of technology and people working longer in more demanding jobs. On the other hand, people are less physically active which is why obesity is on the rise.

It’s great to hear that intelligence is booming in the ageing population but it’s important that you stay active as well. Whether you walk, swim or take a Pilates class it is important for your overall health and wellbeing to keep moving.

References: Population Aging at Cross-Roads: Diverging Secular Trends in Average Cognitive Functioning and Physical Health in the Older Population of Germany

Nutritional Needs for Bone Health Change as you Age

Nutritional Needs for Bone Health Change as you Age

Fiona Wilkinson.

Every life stage comes with different nutritional needs to support bone health — from babies in the womb to the elderly, there are specific nutritional requirements that need to be met — nutritional needs for bone health change as you age.

A recent scientific review has been published in the journal Osteoporosis International as part of a collaboration between leading bone and nutrition experts. The study authors voice concerns over widespread vitamin D deficiency, particularly in infants and children but also throughout the population as a whole.

The study authors note that milk consumption has decreased significantly and believe that this is behind the widespread calcium deficiencies. However, large amounts of dairy particularly in the form of cheese are not particularly good for bone health. Remember that milk is not the only source of calcium, you can get calcium from the following: white beans, tinned salmon with bones, dried figs, blackstrap molasses, almonds, oranges, tahini, seaweed and tofu.

The Importance of the Right Form of Calcium

The food that you eat and the supplements you take are only going to be beneficial if you can absorb their nutrients efficiently. Good levels of stomach acid are needed in order to absorb calcium, and one of the side effects mentioned under calcium carbonate supplements in drug reference books is gastro-intestinal disturbances. This is because they are notoriously difficult to absorb. Calcium, when bound to citric acid, forms bioavailable citrates which are easily assimilated and require little acidification prior to absorption. So calcium citrate supplements are a better choice than calcium carbonate and especially if you have low stomach acid.

Nutritional needs for skeletal health change as you age, says new scientific review

Fiona WilkinsonAbout Fiona

I am a Nutrition and Behavioural Psychologist with an MSc in Clinical Nutrition and a PhD in Mental Health. I specialise in long-term weight loss, disordered eating and binge eating. I run both online and in-person programmes to help you with any weight or eating issues you may have picked up over the years. We’re all different and have different needs so I work very much with you as an individual and together we’ll work out a programme to fit you.

Healthy Weight Loss

Read more about me here…

This is your brain on fried eggs

This Is Your Brain On Fried Eggs

Brain, motivation and eating a high-fat diet

Eating a diet high in fat can cause impairments in the functioning of the mesolimbic dopamine system, according to Stephanie Fulton of the University of Montreal and the CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM.)

This system is a critical brain pathway controlling motivation. Fulton’s findings, published today in Neuropsychopharmacology, may have great health implications:

“Our research shows that independent of weight gain and obesity, high-fat feeding can cause impairments in the functioning of the brain circuitry profoundly implicated in mood disorders, drug addiction, and overeating — several states and pathologies that impinge on motivation and hedonia.”

Hedonia relates to a mental state of wellbeing.

“Another key finding is that the effects of prolonged high-fat feeding to dampen the sensitivity of this brain reward system are specific to saturated fats — palm oil used in this study — but not monounsaturated fat such as the olive oil used in this study.”

The research team obtained these findings by working with three groups of rats. The first group of rats was the control group: they were given a low-fat diet containing roughly equal amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids. The second group was given a monounsaturated high fat diet, of which 50% of the calories were from fat derived from olive oil. The third group was given a saturated high fat diet — again, 50% of the calories were from fat, but this time derived from palm oil. The high-fat diets were all the same in terms of sugars, proteins, fat content and caloric density, and the animals were free to eat as much or as little as they liked.

After eight weeks, all of the rats still had comparable body weights and levels of insulin, leptin (which are major metabolic hormones) and relative glycemia.

At this time, the rats underwent a series of behavioural and biochemical tests known to be indicative of the functioning of rats’ dopamine system.

“We established that the rats on the palm diet had a significantly blunted dopamine function.

“Our research group and others hypothesize that this leads the brain to try to compensate by heightening reward-seeking behaviour, much like the phenomenon of drug tolerance where one has to increase the drug dose over time to get the same high. So, a person consuming too much saturated fat may then compensate a reduced reward experience by seeking out and consuming more high-fat and high-sugar foods to get the same level of pleasure or reward.”

Fulton’s study is the first of its kind to show that, regardless of weight changes, unrestrained intake of saturated fats can have negative effects on the controls of motivation by the brain. Fulton said:

“As we were able to control for changes in body weight, hormones and glucose levels, we think that the fats may be affecting the dopamine system by a direct action in the brain. We in fact have separate evidence that brain inflammation could be involved in this process, as it is evoked by saturated high-fat feeding, which will be presented in a future publication.”

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