Good Nutrition Advice

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These Dietary Changes Reduce Diabetes Risk

Type 2 diabetes risk can be reduced by adjusting the dietary intake of certain foods.

Dietary fibre — especially from cereal and vegetable sources — can reduce diabetes risk, a new study finds. Diabetes is a serious health condition which affects over 360 million people in the world.

It is estimated that by 2030 more than 550 million people worldwide will suffer from diabetes. Previous studies have reported possible benefits of dietary fibre to reduce diabetes risk. But, until now, the exact type of fibre had not been evaluated.

In the study participants were divided into four groups: from lowest to highest fibre intake. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes over 11 years was assessed. Participants consuming 19g, or less, of fibre had an 18% higher risk of developing diabetes compared to those consuming over 26g per day.

Cereal and vegetable sources of fibre had the most impact on reducing diabetes. But fruit fibre didn’t have any effect on reducing the risk of diabetes. The study also found that dietary fibre can help people maintain a healthy weight.

This in turn also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Mr Dagfinn Aune the co-author of this study said:

“Taken together, our results indicate that individuals with diets rich in fiber, in particular cereal fiber, may be at lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

We are not certain why this might be, but potential mechanisms could include feeling physically full for longer, prolonged release of hormonal signals, slowed down nutrient absorption, or altered fermentation in the large intestine.

All these mechanisms could lead to a lower BMI and reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

As well as helping keep weight down, dietary fiber may also affect diabetes risk by other mechanisms — for instance improving control of blood sugar and decreasing insulin peaks after meals, and increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin.”

This research was published in the journal Diabetologia (The InterAct Consortium, 2015).

Why Tasty Foods Like French Fries Leave You Wanting More

Why Tasty Foods Like French Fries Leave You Wanting More

How processed foods change the brain’s ability to recognize fullness.

Eating high-fat, processed foods may stop the brain sensing fullness, leading to overeating, a new animal study reports.

The research was conducted at the University of Georgia, Washington State University and Binghamton University (Cooper et al., 2015).

They switched rats’ normal diet to a high fat diet and found that the new diet changes the populations of bacteria living in the gut and alters the signalling to the brain.

Consequently, the body doesn’t feel full and wants more food, which leads to obesity. Dr Krzysztof Czaja, the principal investigator on the study, explained:

“When we switch the rats to a high fat diet, it reorganizes brain circuits. The brain is changed by eating unbalanced foods. It induces inflammation in the brain regions responsible for feeding behavior. Those reorganized circuits and inflammation may alter satiety signalling.”

After a switch to an unbalanced diet, microbiota in the gut will change. Dr. Czaja said:

“In the regular physiological state, many different strains of bacteria live in a balanced environment in the intestinal tract. They don’t overpopulate. There are little shifts, but in general this population is quite stable.

When we start feeding the rats a different diet, there is an immediate effect. Suddenly, different nutrients are changing the micro-environment in the gut and some bacteria begin to overpopulate.

Some sensitive bacteria begin to die and some populations may even vanish. So, introducing a significant change in the gut micro-environment triggers a cascade of events that leads to this population switch.”

Why Tasty Foods Like French Fries Leave You Wanting More

These changes lead to gut-brain miscommunication which happens when nerve cells that carry signals from the gut to the brain are inflamed and damaged.

Whether or not the change is reversible or permanent is a question that Dr Czaja and his colleagues will address in the future.

The body is accustomed to foods sourced naturally and so highly processed and artificial foods are new to our bodies.

This research shows how the introduction of modified foods high in fat and sugar can disturb intestinal microbiota and gut-brain communication which can result in obesity.

Unlikely diet trick

Most Unlikely Weight Loss Trick Revealed by Psych Experiment

This has to be one of the most counter-intuitive, and most unlikely weight loss trick, or dieting tip ever.

Apparently, just looking at endless pictures of foods can make them less enjoyable to eat, a recent study has found. While a few photos might enhance the appetite, contrary to what you’d expect, people are actually put off the taste by looking at loads of pictures of food.

Professor Ryan Elder, who led the study, which is published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, said:

“In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food.

It’s sensory boredom — you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience any more.”

What’s happening is that each time you look at another photograph of some food, you get less pleasure from it.

Like the first taste of chocolate mousse giving you a frisson, the first photograph whets your appetite.

But each subsequent picture — like each subsequent mouthful of mousse — is less and less exciting, until you get sick of it.

The Instagram diet

In the studies themselves, hundreds of people looked at and rated pictures of food (Larson et al., 2013).

One experiment had half the participants looking at pictures of salty foods like French fries and pretzels, while the other half looked at sweet foods like ice cream and chocolate.

Afterwards, they rated their pleasure from eating both salty and sweet foods.

People who’d been looking at salty foods gave lower pleasure ratings to the salty foods and people who’d been looking at sweet pictures gave lower ratings to the sweet foods.

The study found that the more pictures they looked at, the less pleasure people got from related foods.

Professor Elder explained:

“You do have to look at a decent number of pictures to get these effects.

It’s not like if you look at something two or three times you’ll get that satiated effect.

That’s good news for food-photo enthusiasts, because, let’s be honest, showing everyone the awesome food you’re eating really is cool.”

For those trying to enhance their pleasure, rather than reduce it, co-author, Jeff Larson, had this advice:

“If you want to enjoy your food consumption experience, avoid looking at too many pictures of food.

Even I felt a little sick to my stomach during the study after looking at all the sweet pictures we had.”


 

stop Chocolate and food cravings

Stop Food Cravings In 15 Minutes With This Easy Trick

Stop food cravings and cut chocolate consumption in half by doing this.

A 15-minute walk is enough to stop food cravings brought on by stressful situations, a new study finds. The research should help the 97% of women and 68% of men who suffer from food cravings.

The study chimes with previous research finding that a 15-minutes walk can stop food cravings for chocolate by half. Professor Adrian Taylor, who led that research said:

“We know that snacking on high calorie foods, like chocolate, at work can become a mindless habit and can lead to weight gain over time.

We often feel that these snacks give us an energy boost, or help us deal with the stress of our jobs, including boredom.

People often find it difficult to cut down on their daily treats but this study shows that by taking a short walk, they are able to regulate their intake by half.”

Stop food cravings

The study involved 47 overweight people with an average age of 28. All regularly ate chocolate or high calories snacks. In the three days before the study, the participants were asked not to snack on any of their usual comfort foods.

The idea being that by the time of the study, they would be really craving a snack. In the lab, half the participants spent 15 minutes on a treadmill, while the other half had sat quietly.

They then were given a difficult psychological test that made them stressed. This was to cue up their food cravings. They were then given sugary snacks to unwrap, but only ‘handle’.

The results showed that those who’d been on the treadmill had much lower food cravings than those who sat quietly. Exercisers also showed lower physiological arousal to handling the sugary snacks.

The authors concluded:

“Short bouts of physical activity may reduce the craving for sugary snacks in overweight people.

When snacking has become habitual and poorly regulated by overweight people, the promotion of short bouts of physical activity could be valuable for reducing the urge to consume at times when the person may be particularly vulnerable, such as during stress and when snack foods are available.”

The research is published in the journal PLoS ONE (Ledochowski et al., 2015)

 

 

 

 

Comfort food

Diet Tip: The Unexpected Effect of Comfort Food and Bad Moods

81% of people believe comfort foods improve a low mood, but are they correct? The truth about comfort food and bad moods.

Contrary to what most people believe, comfort food does not improve a low mood, a new study finds.

The research, published in the journal Health Psychology, found that people who ate nothing recovered from a bad mood just as quickly as those who ate their preferred comfort food (Wagner et al., 2014).

The results come from a study in which people were asked to list the type of foods they ate to recover from a bad mood — chocolate was the most popular. They then watched an 18-minute video that was guaranteed to make them anxious, afraid and depressed.

Comfort Food and Bad Moods

After watching the depressing video, (across three different studies) people were given either:

  1. Their preferred comfort food.
  2. A neutral food (a granola bar).
  3. No food.

Then their mood was measured. Here is how the researchers describe their results, which were pretty clear-cut:

“Comfort foods led to significant improvements in mood, but no more than other foods or no food.

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Although people believe that comfort foods provide them with mood benefits, comfort foods do not provide comfort beyond that of other foods (or no food).”

The fact that all groups felt better after a time is likely due to the psychological immune system, our natural ability to recover from bad moods.

So, people were giving the credit to the comfort food for something their minds were doing automatically.

The researchers conclude:

“We found no justification for people to choose comfort foods when they are distressed.

Removing an excuse for eating a high-calorie or high-fat food may help people develop and maintain healthier eating habits, and may lead them to focus on other, food-free methods of improving their mood.

You don’t need comfort food to feel better; the mind will do the trick all on its own if you give it time.”


 

spaghetti squash with egg

Spaghetti­ Squash­ with ­Spinach and­ ­Egg

This recipe is a extract from What to Eat — A 14-day guide to healthy eating — 14 days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to get you on the road to a healthy lifestyle.

 Spaghetti­ Squash­ with ­Spinach and­ ­Egg

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated
about 1 1⁄2 cups roasted spaghetti squash
1 large egg
1 tablespoon parsley leaves
1⁄2 tablespoon sliced chives

PREPARATION
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot and cook, stirring often, until the shallot is soft — about 2 minutes.

Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant — about 30 seconds.

Add the baby spinach and cook, stirring, until the spinach is soft and wilted — about 1 minute.

Add the Parmesan and the roasted spaghetti squash and cook, stirring often, to melt most of the cheese and heat the squash all the way through.

When the mixture is hot, turn the heat off and let it sit in the skillet while you fry the egg.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a non- stick skillet over medium-low heat. Crack the egg into the skillet, season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and cook until the white is set but the yolk is still runny, 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the spaghetti squash to a plate or bowl, then top with the fried egg and herbs.

Nutritional Information:
403 calories, 22 g fat (7.7 g saturated fat), 31 g carbohydrate (8.1 g dietary fiber, 8.4 g sugars), 22.8 g protein, 205 mg cholesterol, 694 mg sodium

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