March Nutrition Nuggets



The articles from this months headlines are as crazy, interesting as always. I am sure that the marketing department of some of these brands think that the American public is either ignoring the negative research studies for their products or that they simply don’t care. They may be right on both counts. I question everything I read, especially now when anyone can have a website & write whatever they want & make claims that they can’t substantiate. That is why I love this Blog. I want to wade through all this for you. You aren’t expected to believe everything I say either. Do your own research & if you have further questions just ask me. Let me know when you disagree! I can take it 🙂 

This first article is important to read. I don’t think I can stress enough how unhealthy most processed foods can be. I am giving you two views of the same study. 

Eco Watch: Study: Eating Highly Processed Foods Linked to Increased Cancer RiskBy Dawn Undurraga, In the article the author states: “Ultra-processed foods are defined as foods that undergo multiple physical, biological and mechanical processes to be highly palatable, affordable and shelf stable.” This study shows a possible cancer link to all ultra-processed foods, not only meats such as hot-dogs & deli slices. The study states that 1/4 to 1/2 of the daily intake of calories for the average person are ultra-processed foods. This study was done in France following 105,000 people over an average of 5-8 years. We need to be cautious about the study because the lifestyles of the French are different than ours. Yet, I think it is safe to say that Americans eat the same or more calories per day of ultra-processed foods.

This article from BBC gives a slightly different look at the study & it’s conclusions. Ultra-processed foods ‘linked to cancer’, 15 February 2018  

What I got from both of these articles is that eating this way leads to obesity which we know is directly linked to some cancers. Also, that a balanced diet that includes more plant-based foods & omits processed foods is the answer to a healthier you.

Here is a very good article from my Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Newsletter: Can Obesity Cause Cancer?, Published: March 16, 2018  This article shows the connection between obesity & cancer with an info-graph. Very good information whether you are considering losing weight or not. Make sure you look at the tips at the end of the article.

“Coca-Cola is planning to produce an alcoholic drink for the first time in the company’s 125-year history – with an alcopop-style product in Japan.” BBC News: Coca-Cola plans to launch its first alcoholic drink, 7 March 2018  The company says that they will probably not sell this outside of Japan. You want to bet on that? Because the younger generations, in the United States, are becoming increasingly interested in what they are eating & it’s impact on their health & the environment, Coca-Cola has been branching out into the water industry and tea brands.

Check out the Product Description for all the brands that Coca-cola now owns. I am still upset that they bought Honest Tea & added sweetener to it. That used to be my go to drink when traveling. Bringing my own now. By the way, Pepsi Brands are just as interesting.

What a fickle market health food is. From the Washington Post: The sudden collapse of coconut oil, 2015’s favorite superfood March 7  “Health Foods & Super Foods”, go out of favor quickly. It just takes one research study or one “Food Guru” to cause their downfall. Coconut oil is a good example. Good article.

Speaking of trends, this is interesting. The “Great Eight” Hottest Healthy Food and Beverage Trends for 2018By food expert, Mareya Ibrahim, The Fit Foodie and founder of  Take a look at the list.

Tart cherries were on the Super Food list before. They are good for the reduction of pain & inflammation, especially for arthritis sufferers. You can drink Tart Cherry Juice for the benefits by puting an ounce in a glass of water. Make sure the only ingredient on the juice container is tart cherries; no sweetener including white grape juice. If you are interested in trying this, read this article first: Livestrong: Pros & Cons of Cherry Juice, BY  KAREN CURINGA

This was no surprise to me. Calcium Supplements May Raise the Risk of Colon Polyps, New Study Finds More research is needed but experts suggest some people may want to reconsider taking them” Research has shown that calcium in supplement form is not absorbed & used by the body in the same way as calcium rich foods are. This is a case where isolating the mineral from the food source did not get the same results. 

Have you spoken with your oncologist or healthcare team about your calcium levels? You should. Cancer treatments can affect your levels as well as your diet. The debate continues. How much calcium is too much? What is the range? Where should you get your calcium from? Read on!

This is a very thorough & well researched article about calcium from Wellness Mama: The Problem with Calcium Supplements I am so impressed with the research studies that are cited in the article. This is really a must read for anyone taking a calcium supplement or thinking about taking it. 

Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical school: What you need to know about calcium,Calcium is billed as the bone-building nutrient. But some experts argue that we should pay more attention to exercise and vitamin D.” This article brings up the fact that even with all the research, the results can be looked at quite differently depending on your point of view. 

Here is a great printable list from the University of Chicago Medicine: Food Sources Rich in Calcium You can see why I suggested, in last weeks post, that anyone with a calcium deficiency should consider the plant-based Mediterranean diet to up their calcium intake. Between legumes, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds & fish, you can increase your natural intake of calcium easily. 

I will be on vacation, after Easter, for 2 weeks . I will post as usual next week, but will have it on the Blog one day earlier, Monday the 2nd. The next post will then be on Tuesday, April 17th. 

Until next week…Mary 🙂