Nutrition Nugget posts are my favorites to write. We are so over saturated with political news that we miss the articles about health & wellness. Many new studies of interest are published every day. I enjoy wading through them. May’s articles range from fruit juice, chocolate, alcohol consumption to aspirin & diets. There are two “I told you so” moments for me. 🙂 I will begin with them.
If you have been following my posts you know that I equate drinking fruit juice with drinking colas. Fruit juice is concentrated fructose with some vitamin & minerals, but sugar all the same. Even though this is a pediatric study, the information is for all ages.
NPR: Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids Are 1 KATHERINE HOBSON “We want to reinforce that the most recent evidence supports that fruit juice should be a limited part of the diet of children,” says Steven Abrams, a professor of pediatrics at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, and an author of the guidelines, which were published Monday in Pediatrics.
Whole fruit is a much better way to get all the vitamins and nutrients of fruit, the guidelines say. Whole fruit contains fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar by the body, and it also makes you feel fuller than juice, which can prevent overeating. That is an important point…Whole fruit contains fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar by the body. Fruit juice does not have the fiber so it is absorbed quickly. It takes 2-4 medium oranges to make one cup of juice; 5-8 teaspoons of sugar per cup. Cola has 5 teaspoons per 8 ounces.
The article goes on to say…these new guidelines don’t apply to fruit drinks, which contain less than 100 percent juice and have added sweeteners. Those fall into the category of sugar-sweetened beverages, along with soda, sports drinks and energy drinks, and frequent consumption is associated with poor health outcomes, according to the CDC. An exception is that sports drinks may be useful for child or teen athletes who are exercising heavily, the AAP said in a 2011 clinical report. Sports drinks are not an option for cancer patients. Unless you are doing Zumba with Alessandra 🙂
Smoothies, too, fall into the “treat” category, says Abrams. As they should be if made with fruit juice. Smoothies can be made in your blender with a nut milk base, 10-20% whole fruit & 80% whole veggies along with other healthy ingredients. They should not be used as a substitute for a meal, except for breakfast. They are especially good for a pick-me-up in moderate amounts between meals. Check out my post in 2015 about Smoothies!
My second “I told you so” moment~ In last weeks post I commented on the American Cancer Institutes recommendation for alcohol consumption:
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. I still have a difficult time with this recommendation to limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. It seems excessive to me.
This article by CNN caught my eye: A drink a day tied to higher breast cancer risk, report says By Jacqueline Howard, Tue May 23, 2017 “Researchers have long known that having one too many cocktails might be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Now, a new report from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research reveals just how much of a risk daily drinking might pose for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. I think that pretty well covers ALL women!
Sipping an average of 10 grams of alcohol a day — equivalent to a small glass of wine, an 8-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor — is associated with a 5% increased breast cancer risk in premenopausal women and 9% increase in postmenopausal women, said Dr. Anne McTiernan, a lead author of the new report and a cancer prevention researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. This is not a risk I am willing to take.
“I was most surprised by the alcohol result, that risk increases at just one drink a day, on average,” McTiernan said. “The increase with one drink a day was small … but the risk goes up from there. So that’s why AICR recommends no more than one alcohol drink a day for women to reduce risk for cancer.” Maybe I am wrong here, but doesn’t it stand to reason that the risk would also increase over time if you drink alcohol daily?
From Medscape: Just One Drink a Day Raises Breast Cancer Risk by Roxanne Nelson, BSN, RN, May 23, 2017 Commenting on the new finding, Susan K. Boolbol, MD, chief of the Division of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, New York, said, “We have known about the link between alcohol and breast cancer as several studies have shown the association. The issue with those studies is that we did not have an exact amount of alcohol that was known to increase your risk.”
“This report clearly states that 1 drink per day will increase your risk. That is major news,” Dr Boolbol said in a statement.
The conclusion is: “With this comprehensive and up-to-date report the evidence is clear,” said Dr McTiernan in a statement. “Having a physically active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life and limiting alcohol — these are all steps women can take to lower their risk.”
GNN, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News: Alcohol Increases Breast Cancer Risk in African-American Women Due to racial bias among participants in many genetic studies, the risks of developing various diseases are less clear in ethnicities outside those with a Caucasian background. For instance, alcohol is an established risk factor for breast cancer—however, most studies have been conducted in predominantly white populations. Now, in a large study of African-American women, led by investigators at the University of North Carolina (UNC), researchers found that alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer—indicating that African-American women, like white females, may benefit from limiting their alcohol intake.
Conclusion: “Understanding the impact of these various risk factors could help narrow the disparity in breast cancer incidence and mortality,” Dr. Troester concluded.
This is also a reminder that when you see results of a research study, you should check to see who the participants were. If they don’t match your ethnicity, gender or age then the outcome may not apply to you.
Headlines that include chocolate & coffee don’t get by me 🙂 CBS News: Chocolate linked to lower risk for heart condition AFib By May 24, 2017, 9:18 AM “Unfortunately, there are no effective, proven therapies for the primary prevention of AF,” experts from the Duke Center for Atrial Fibrillation at Duke University write in an accompanying editorial, so an easy, tasty way to reduce the risk would certainly be welcome. However, they sound a note of caution.
“It is exciting to think about the potential for fun public health announcements, such as ‘Eat more chocolate and prevent AF!’ … However, is this message too good to be true?” they write. They say more research is needed and note a number of limitations in the Danish study group: the participants were almost exclusively white; socioeconomic levels, which may affect health status, were not tracked; and the chocolate consumers had lower levels of other risk factors including hypertension and diabetes. Didn’t I just talk about how important it is to know who was in the study? Yep, I think I did.
The study didn’t look at the type of chocolate consumed, but Mostofsky said the darker the chocolate, the more flavanols it contains, an antioxidant that may promote healthy blood vessel function.
“This is not carte blanche to eat large amounts of chocolate,” said Mostofsky. “Moderate amounts of dark chocolate as part of a healthy diet would be a good choice.” Darn! I am still waiting for the study that says all women 70+ should eat chocolate covered espresso beans all day long to improve their health. I can dream.
Low-dose aspirin linked to lower breast cancer risk, study says Mon May 1, 2017 I recommend that you read the entire article. Here are a few excerpts. More potential good news for people who regularly take a low-dose aspirin: Women who took one had a lower risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research on Monday. Low dose generally means an 81 mg tablet. Aspirin is not the same as other over the counter NSAIDS like Ibuprofen.
The study used data from more than 57,000 women who were part of the California Teachers Study. In the 23% of women who reported using low-dose aspirin regularly, researchers saw a 20% reduction in the risk of developing HR-positive/HER2 negative breast cancer, some of the most common forms of the disease.
The risk was inversely associated with taking a low-dose aspirin three or more times a week, compared with those women who had no regular low-dose aspirin use. Larger doses did not show the same results.
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory medication which may explain why it reduces the risk of many cancers. It is also an anti-coagulant, so not everyone can take even a low dose. Aspirin can also interact with other medications. Do not start taking it without consulting with your health care team.
Last year, internationally, sales of gluten-free products rose 12.6%. This is a significant number. Scientists & nutritionists are interested in finding out why so many people are cutting gluten out of their diet & what benefit, if any, it gives them. This article is about whether there is a cardiac benefit from being gluten-free.
A Gluten-Free Diet Could Do More Harm Than Good For People Without Coeliac Disease by DAVID NIELD, 5 MAY 2017 “So if you’re determined to go gluten-free, don’t expect a reduced risk of heart problems, and make sure you’re not reducing the whole grains in your diet at the same time.
“Based on our data, recommending a low-gluten diet solely for the promotion of heart health does not appear warranted,” says one of the researchers, Andrew Chan from the Harvard Medical School.
This isn’t the first study to question the benefits of going gluten-free for otherwise healthy people, and some experts say it has no benefits at all, despite popular perceptions.”
This study came to the conclusion that there is no benefit to the heart & may even increase the risk of heart disease. The problem is not limiting or cutting out the gluten, it is in cutting out or limiting whole grains in the diet. Whole grains are important to heart health.
Another important point that they brought up is that the improvement people perceive in their health may not be due to the gluten-free diet. It may simply be that they are making an effort to clean up their diet. As I have said many times before: I still believe that the success of any diet is not what you are eating on the diet but what you gave up to be on the diet :). Chips, cokes, burgers with fries 🙂
“It’s fair to say that we’ve still got plenty to learn about how gluten affects the body, and the knock-on effects that a gluten-free diet might have, whatever your opinion on the debate.
Lebwohl and his team now want to look at gluten intake measured against cancer and autoimmune disease, among other health problems, to get more answers.
“Despite the relatively low prevalence of coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, surveys suggest that about one-third of Americans are trying to cut down on gluten,” says Lebwohl.
“This certainly benefits companies that sell gluten-free products. But does it benefit the public? That is the question we wanted to answer.”
The research has been published in the British Medical Journal.
Have you tried the “new” alternate -day fasting idea for losing weight? It is tough to stick to isn’t it 🙂 NPR reported on a new study: Fasting Studies Clash With Our Desire To Eat What We Want, When We Want It by REBECCA HERSHER,
The study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine did not set out to investigate the hardships of abstaining from food. The main question was: Is alternate-day fasting more effective for weight loss and weight maintenance compared with daily calorie restriction?
The answer to that question appears to be “No.” The study of 100 people over the course of one year suggests that fasting every other day is no better than restricting calorie intake every day for people trying to lose weight or keep it off.
But the researchers also found that people do not change their eating habits easily. About a third of the study participants who were asked to fast didn’t follow the study requirements and ended up dropping out.
The researchers noted that any study about dietary changes is notoriously difficult because people don’t want to change. They drop out of the studies. It was also noted that studies on fasting of any kind are small; very few participants. Because they are such small samples the results are not conclusive. This study involved only 100 people.