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Fiber Food Additive to Fight Appetite

20 Jan

Fiber Food Additive to Fight Appetite

Every fiber fan knows that fiber makes you feel full. But there comes a point when you can only rationalize so much roughage!

Well – lucky for you, scientists in the United Kingdom have isolated a food additive that promotes satiety, and its name is proponiate.

A small study published in the online journal Gut showed that people given the additive proponiate gained less weight over a 24-week period compared to those who were given inulin. The proponiate people also had less abdominal and liver fat than the inulin group.

Proponiate is produced when dietary fiber is fermented in the gut. By delivering proponiate to the colon, researchers theorized that they could increase peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion, which in turn would reduce calorie intake and blunt weight gain in overweight adults.

Now you can’t run to the store to pick up proponiate just yet – or probably anytime soon. But maybe down the road? The scientists did comment that these findings may represent, “a novel route to improve weight management at the population level.”

 

Whole Grain Intake Massacres Mortality Rates

13 Jan

Whole Grain Intake Massacres Mortality Rates

It’s time to table that Wheat Belly BS & push your Paleo proclivities aside: a new study shows that eating whole grains is linked to lower mortality.

While it has long been known that high whole grain intake cuts heart disease and diabetes risk, these new findings represent a major step forward in tying whole grain intake to lower mortality rates.

The study – published in JAMA Internal Medicine – looked at data from over 74,000 females in the Nurse’s Health Study and 43,000 males from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Participants filled out diet questionnaires every 2-4 years for a period of 25 years. Findings were adjusted for age, smoking, BMI, physical activity, and other dietary components.

The researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that whole grain intake is linked to:

  • A 9% lower overall mortality rate
  • A 15% lower cardiovascular disease related mortality rate
  • Overall mortality drop of 9% and CVD mortality cut of 15% for every serving of whole grains you add per day
  • 6% lower total mortality and 20% lower CVD related mortality when the benefits of bran foods were taken into consideration.

Self-reported dietary data is always an inherent drawback to studies of these sorts – but the large sample size and impressive length-of-follow are 2 inspiring components of this publication.

What’s the take away? You do your body a long term favor by replacing refined carbs with whole grain goodness.

 

Restaurant Calorie Counts: Right to Know?

10 Dec

Restaurant Calorie Counts: Right to Know?

The FDA recently finalized their rule stating that calories will have to be posted “clearly and conspicuously” at:

  • Restaurants with 20 or more outlets
  • Vending machines with 20 or more machines
  • Retail outlets such as movie theaters with 20 or more theaters

While calories need to be posted up front on menu boards at fast food establishments and in menus at casual fast and sit down restaurants, additional information such as total calories, total fat, calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars and proteins have to be available (provided upon consumer request, usually done online or pamphlet).

Why Disclose Calories at Restaurants?

  • Studies show eating out more frequently is associated with obesity, higher body fatness, or higher BMI. (Example: women who eat out more often (5+ times/week) eat 290 more calories on average each day than those who eat out less often.
  • Americans eat and drink 1/3 of their calories away from home
  • More than 2/3 of Americans favor posting calories throughout ready prepared food outlets including movie theaters, vending machines, supermarkets

Does Calorie Shaming Work?

  • NYC study: 1 in 6 customers used the calorie information and purchased 106 fewer calories than customers who did not see or use the calorie information at chain restaurants
  • Subway chains in NYC: 1 out of 3 customers (37%) reported that nutrition information affected their purchases; they purchased 100 fewer calories per meal than those who saw the information and reported it had not effect
  • Parents of kids age 3-6 who were presented a McDonald’s menu with calorie labeling ordered an average of 100 fewer calories for their children than those who did not receive calorie info

What Will Be the Impact?

  • CSPI estimates that similar changes at chain restaurants could result in 30 calorie per person per day decrease in intake
  • Product reformulation resulting from calorie posting rules has already and will continue to result in further reduction in calories (Example: California Pizza Kitchen’s “Small Cravings” menu, Cheesecake Factory’s “SkinnyLicious” line, Denny’s “Fit Fare”)
  • Obesity epidemic can be explained by 100 calorie per day imbalance – so baby steps are important!

By the Numbers: Why Does This Matter?

  • Medium movie theater popcorn without butter topping: 1,200 calories (same as 4 McDonald’s Cheeseburgers or 5 slices Papa John’s pepperoni pizza)
  • Cheesecake Factory: Bruleed French Toast 2,780 calories (would have to swim laps for 7 hours to burn off) – meal also has 5 days saturated fat and 24 teaspoons sugar; Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic: 2,410 calories (five hour job to burn off)
  • Outback Steakhouse: Bloomin’ Onion 1,959 (in total onion, 6 servings)
  • Claim Jumper Chicken Pot Pie: 2,078 calories and Chocolate Motherlode Cake: 2,768 calories per slice

For more information on the new FDA rule, check out my segment on KPBS San Diego on the topic here.

Live Longer With Fiber

25 Jun

Live Longer With Fiber

It’s fairly well established that fiber prevents disease – helping to keep problems like blood sugar spikes, elevated cholesterol levels, and even certain types of cancer at bay.

But now comes a study showing that fiber can also help out after danger strikes, in this case – by preventing repeat heart attacks.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health recently published a study in the British Medical Journal showing that among heart attack survivors, the highest fiber eaters had the lowest risk of having another heart attack.

Over 4,000 subjects were involved in the study which found that greater fiber intake was inversely associated with all cause mortality.

And, it turns out that cereal fiber is particularly cardioprotective.

What’s a cereal fiber? Try:

  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Whole wheat pasta

Bottom line? According to this study, fiber helps heart disease, both before and after heart attack…proving that it’s really never too late to start falling in love with fiber.

 

Pulse Your Way to Lower LDL

25 Apr

Pulse Your Way to Lower LDL

A new study out in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that eating 1 serving of pulses each day can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by as much as 5%.

Good news for bad cholesterol…but what’s a pulse?

A pulse is simply a legume, including dried peas and beans such as:

  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lentils

A one-half cup serving of pulses can have between 5-9 grams of fiber, depending on the legume.

You can always soak and prepare your own pulses at home – but most people find that canned options are more convenient for eating these high fiber, protein-packed pulses.

If you’re worried about sodium intake in canned foods, try rinsing your canned beans under a running faucet. This reduces sodium content by about 30%.

And if you REALLY like pulses, then get geared up for 2016. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses…an opportunity to “give pulses the attention they deserve.”