Tag Archives: exercise

Eating Whole Grains Is Great For Your Health

I’ve long been a fan of whole grains.  Eating whole grains helps you stay fuller longer making you significantly less likely to constantly eat.  Your body takes longer to digest the whole grains.  Look for the whole grain seal on bread, cereal, oats, etc. and make sure you are eating your whole grains!

Whole Grains Each Day Linked to Longer Life

Eating a diet rich in whole grains may reduce your risk of dying early, a new meta-analysis finds.

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People who reported eating at least three servings of whole grains daily were 20 percent less likely to die early from any cause compared with people who reported eating less than one serving a day, the researchers found. The analysis included 14 previous studies; all of the studies were at least six years long, and many were more than 10 years long.

The researchers also looked at specific causes of death. They found that eating three servings of whole grains a day was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 14 percent lower risk of death from cancer, compared with eating one serving or less of whole grains daily. 

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating three or more servings of whole grains each day.  However, Americans eat, on average, less than one serving a day, according to the study, published today (June 13) in the journal Circulation.

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Indeed, “these findings lend further support to the U.S. government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which suggest high consumption of whole grains to facilitate disease prevention,” Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and the senior author on the study, said in a statement.

The studies in the meta-analysis included a total of more than 786,000 people. There were nearly 98,000 deaths in all of the studies, including more than 23,000 from heart disease and more than 37,000 from cancer.

“Multiple individual studies consistently revealed a reduced risk of death among people who consumed more whole grains,” Sun told Live Science.

Moreover, each serving, or 0.5 ounces (16 grams), of whole grains a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from any cause, a 9 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from heart disease and a 5 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from cancer, the meta-analysis found.

The researchers noted that the types of whole grains people ate varied from study to study. However, in the U.S., more than 70 percent of whole grains that people eat come from breads and cereal grains, which include oatmeal, rice and barley, according to the study. 

This is not the first study to suggest whole grains have health benefits, nor is it the first meta-analysis to do so.

Two previous meta-analyses, for example, found that whole grains were associated with lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels and lower amounts of body fat, the researchers wrote.

A number of compounds found in whole grains could contribute to the foods’ effects on health, the researchers wrote. Fiber, for example, may lower cholesterol and help people feel fuller so they eat fewer calories. Magnesium may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure. And other minerals and antioxidants may help fight oxidative stress, they said.

Based on the new findings, “health care providers should unanimously recommend whole grain consumption to the general population, as well as patients with certain diseases, to help achieve better health and perhaps reduce death,” Sun said.

In addition, whole grains should replace refined carbohydrates in a person’s diet, because these carbohydrates have been shown to have negative health effects, the researchers wrote.

(via Live Science via Yahoo! News)

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FDA Sends Warning Letter To Popular Granola Bar Maker

(This is our 200th post!  Not surprising that another brand has been called our for deceiving their customers into thinking they are eating something healthy, when in fact the reality is the opposite!  Do you read nutrition labels?  If so, do you understand them?

Kind Bars may not be so kind after all.

The Food and Drug Administration has sent a letter to the maker of the snacks saying the company must remove the term “healthy” from its labels.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that regulators found that the company’s products contain too much saturated fat.  According to the Bloomberg article:

‘Your products do not meet the requirements for use of the nutrient content claim ‘healthy’ on a food label,’ William Correll, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in the letter, dated March 17 and released publicly on Tuesday. ‘You should take prompt action to correct the violations.’

The Fruit & Almond & Apricot, Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Fruit & Nut Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew products, all have over 3 grams of saturated fat. The FDA states that a product must have less than 1 gram of fat to be labeled “healthy.”

In a statement, Kind said it’s working to comply with the FDA’s standards: “Our team at Kind is fully committed to working alongside the FDA, and we’re moving quickly to comply with its request,” the company said. “We’re also taking it upon ourselves to conduct a thorough review of all of our snack food labels and website information to ensure that they’re compliant.”
The FDA’s warning comes as Kind has seen a sales boom recently. As Bloomberg reported:

‘Kind has seen its sales surge in recent years as Americans have moved toward savory snacks and demanded better ingredients. Kind products are now in 150,000 retail stores in the U.S. The company sold 458 million units in 2014, more than tripling over the last two years, according to Daniel Lubetzky, the company’s chief executive officer.’

(via Fortune)

The Downside of Natural: Biopiracy

Many people are unaware or oblivious to the fact that many of the ingredients in the products they use come from nature, whether as an oil, extract, or a chemical derived from natural sources.  Before it is in your conditioner, shampoo, soda, crackers, pill, etc. it was existing in nature.  I am all for natural and organic, but natural (as with anything) is not always good.  Some products and company operations have a high impact on the environment, which is dependent on the ingredient and its quantity within a product.

Examples

Raw materials are key components in almost every supply chain in consumer goods (clothing, personal care products, food, etc.).  In most cases the largest environmental impact occurs upstream in the supply chain (i.e. from raw materials).  If you have ever read a sustainability report for a company whose product is based on natural resource, they often exclude these impacts in their reporting.  The result is often a significant decrease in what their reported greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts should be.  As an example, cotton is a major raw material in the fashion/textiles industry.  Some of this cotton may be sourced organically or sustainably (land dedicated to agriculture), but some may sourced from lands that were recently deforested.  Agriculture in itself is also a very intensive process and also adds to greenhouse gas emissions, specifically methane.  The same can be said for soft drinks and other products that utilize agricultural products.

Hoodia

San Male with Hoodia Plant

Approximately a decade ago ‘hoodia’ (hoodia gordonii) became a big diet craze.  The cactus, Ilhoba in San language, is native to Namibia and South Africa and has been used by the San people as an appetite supressor.  The San people are one of the oldest genetic populations in the world and live as hunter-gatherers who have used hoodia as an appetite suppressor for generations as it allows them to go for 1-2 days without food in the Namib and Kalahari Deserts, yet stay sustained.  The San people’s knowledge spread within South Africa, with the South African Council for Scientific Research isolating and later patenting the ingredient of hoodia gordonii that causes appetite suppression in 1977 and 1996, respectively.  The patent was then licensed to pharmaceutical companies who began studying the plant.  These companies harvested so much of the plant that it became scare for the San to find, causing hoodia gordonii to eventually be granted protected status (Namibia).  The intellectual property of the San people was acknowledged in 2002, however, the San have not being properly compensated as per a prior agreement which stated they would receive 6-8% of profits of products containing hoodia.  After 2008 the hoodia craze had subsided due to unsubstantiated scientific claims about hoodia and its safety.

The below video showcases a great deal about the San people.  The first 15 minutes discuss the challenges they have faced over hoodia, as well other challenges they have faced, such as being displaced from their ancestral lands and being forced to live outside of their traditional societies.