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A sense of purpose may add years to your life

A sense of purpose may add years to your life | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to new research. The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, says the lead researcher.

 

"Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose," says lead researcher Patrick Hill . "So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur."

 

The researchers looked at data from over 6000 participants, focusing on their self-reported purpose in life (e.g., "Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them") and other psychosocial variables that gauged their positive relations with others and their experience of positive and negative emotions.

 

Greater purpose in life consistently predicted lower mortality risk across the lifespan, showing the same benefit for younger, middle-aged, and older participants across the follow-up period

 

Purpose had similar benefits for adults regardless of retirement status, a known mortality risk factor. And the longevity benefits of purpose in life held even after other indicators of psychological well-being, such as positive relations and positive emotions, were taken into account.

 

Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512124308.htm ;

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Frank J. Papotto, Ph.D.'s curator insight, August 12, 6:50 AM

It is interesting to consider the power of purpose in organizations. Both how organizational purposes might help give purpose to individual lives and how people with a sense of purpose might enhance organizational life are worth thinking about. 

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A Message From The Curator

A Message From The Curator | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

Food, Health and Nutrition covers a range of topics ranging from functional foods, health information and nutritional tips. I have always liked eating good food and most of my research is centered around phytochemistry i.e. the study of plant compounds with biological significance.

 

The cover photo highlights the following functional foods:
Red Wine http://sco.lt/6lxJHF

Coffee http://sco.lt/4swDy5

Green Tea http://sco.lt/8niYE5

 

Please follow my topic and share my scoops if you found the curated articles interesting, and check out the popular tags listed in the post above. I also welcome suggested scoops related to this topic and give credit where credit is due.

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

I teach chemistry at UCSI University, Malaysia and most of my research is centered around phytochemistry.

 

My research interests can be viewed here: 

http://scholar.google.com.my/citations?user=iVv3xbAAAAAJ&hl=en

 

I manage the Facebook and Google+ pages for the Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University. Curated scoops are shared here:

https://www.facebook.com/Applied.Sciences.UCSI

https://plus.google.com/117901649282247944098/posts

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Talent vs Training

Which is more important - genetics or hard work?

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Even with regular workout sessions, I find it difficult to lose weight. Likely, I am considered one of the "low responders" as described in the video. A more humorous take on nature vs nurture scooped here: http://sco.lt/7JQKjR

 

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The 10 Most Filling Foods for Weight Loss

The 10 Most Filling Foods for Weight Loss | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
Baked potatoes, greek yogurt, and popcorn can help you load up on fiber and protein

 

If you were to describe The Perfect Food, it might go something like this: healthful, delicious, bigger than a morsel and filling enough to fight hunger for hours. “Foods that promote satiety”—a feeling of lasting fullness—”do exist,” insists David Katz, MD, founder of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.

 

What makes some grub extra satisfying? “Fiber and protein can help,” says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet. Getting more bang for your bite matters, too: Low-energy-density foods, which yield big portions for few calories, “allow you to eat more without gaining weight,” Rolls says. Want some of that? Make room for these secret-weapon picks:

 

1. Baked potato
2. Eggs
3. Bean soup
4. Greek yogurt
5. Apples
6. Popcorn
7. Figs
8. Oatmeal
9. Wheat berries
10. Smoothies

 

Read more about how to prepare meals from the 10 food items listed above, here: http://time.com/9973/the-10-most-filling-foods-for-weight-loss/

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Satiation is an important factor is any diet. Read more scoops on diets here: http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Diet

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Drinking tea is better for you than drinking coffee or no tea at all

Drinking tea is better for you than drinking coffee or no tea at all | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

Drinking tea can reduce your non-cardiovascular mortality by 24%, according to a new study comparing the effects of tea and coffee on the health of volunteers in France.

 

A new study of 131,000 volunteers in France has revealed that drinking tea can significantly reduce a person’s risk of dying from a non-cardiovascular cause. A non-cardiovascular cause of death can be anything that doesn't have to do with the heart, such as a heart attack, high blood pressure, heart failure, angina, palpitations, or deep vein thrombosis. 

 

Led by Nicholas Danchin from the European Hospital Georges Pompidou in France, the study involved volunteers aged 18 to 95 years who were at a low risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and had a health check at the Paris IPC Preventive Medicine Center between January 2001 and December 2008.

 

The volunteers were asked about their coffee and tea consumption, and were placed in one of three groups depending on how much they consumed - no cups, one to four cups per day, or more than four cups per day. During the 3.5 years that the team took to follow-up on the results, there were 95 deaths from cardiovascular causes (CV) and 632 deaths from non-cardiovascular causes (CV). 

 

Using the data, the team investigated the effects of coffee and tea on CV mortality and non-CV mortality and presented their results at the 2014 European Society of Cardiology Congress last week. From the results, the team says there is enough evidence to suggest that drinking tea is better for your health than drinking coffee, or even no tea at all. "If you have to choose between tea or coffee it's probably better to drink tea,” Danchin said in a press release.

 

Read more here: 

http://www.pda.sciencealert.com.au/news/20140109-26099.html

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Tea has also been shown to boost brain cognitive functions http://sco.lt/8niYE5

 

However, coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes http://sco.lt/4swDy5

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15 'Healthy' Foods That Are Actually Bad For You

15 'Healthy' Foods That Are Actually Bad For You | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

The truly healthy foods are those that don’t need any health claims.

 

Unhealthy foods are the main reason the world is fatter and sicker than ever before. Surprisingly, some of these foods are considered healthy by many people.  Here are 15 “health foods” that are really junk foods in disguise:

 

1. Processed “Low-Fat” and “Fat-Free” Foods.
2. Most Commercial Salad Dressings.
3. Fruit Juices… Which Are Basically Just Liquid Sugar.
4. “Heart Healthy” Whole Wheat.
5. Cholesterol Lowering Phytosterols.
6. Margarine.
7. Sports Drinks.
8. Low-Carb Junk Foods.
9. Agave Nectar.
10. Vegan Junk Foods
11. Brown Rice Syrup
12. Processed Organic Foods
13. Vegetable Oils
14. Gluten-Free Junk Foods
15. Most Processed Breakfast Cereals

 

The original article provides a good review of 15 foods above and has links to research articles which support their statements. Read more: http://authoritynutrition.com/15-health-foods-that-are-really-junk-foods/

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Some of the more surprising myths discussed in the article includes how the "war" on saturated fat was based on weak evidence and how wholemeal bread has a glycemic index comparable to white bread.

 

Read more scoops on food myths here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Myth

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Alive Juices's curator insight, September 5, 8:17 AM

Interesting post! Love to read this. I want to know these all 15 Healthy foods that are really junk foods ? Why?

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Breakfast isn't as important as you've been told

Breakfast isn't as important as you've been told | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Not according to the latest research.

 

The importance of breakfast might be one of the longest running myths when it comes to dietary health, because when you actually look into the science behind it, there’s not much evidence to support its lofty status as “the most important meal of the day”. In fact, a spate of new research independently conducted by different universities around the world and published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that breakfast has little to no effect on a person’s weight and overall health.


In one of the studies, researchers at the University of Alabama and other institutions in the US gathered almost 300 volunteers who had started dieting before the study. These volunteers were split into three groups and told to either eat breakfast every day, skip breakfast every day, or keep on doing what they were doing. The people who were told to continue what they were doing were already in the habit of consistently eating or skipping breakfast.


A separate study conducted by researchers at the University of Bath in the UK took on 33 slim volunteers and started out by measuring their metabolic rates, cholesterol levels and blood-sugar profiles. They were then split into two groups, and half were told to eat breakfast, and half to skip it. They were given activity monitors to record how active they were in the morning.


Read more here:

http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20142508-26067.html


Read the associated research articles here:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/06/04/ajcn.114.089573.abstract

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/06/04/ajcn.114.083402.short



Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Breakfast being the most important meal of the day is likely propagated by cereal and milk commercials.

 

Read other scoops on food myths here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Myth

 

 

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A 5-minute run per day could add years to your life

A 5-minute run per day could add years to your life | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, running 5 minutes per day can reduce an individual’s risk of premature death by about 3 years. Researchers found that people who ran less than an hour per week also saw an increase in lifespan, not just a decrease in risk of premature death. The study took place over the course of 15 years, testing participants ranging in age from 18-100.

 

Separate research found that running more than 20 miles per week could take years off an individual’s life, providing further evidence that less can be more with regard to exercise. According to that research, individuals who exhibit consistent but moderate workout patterns are likely to live the longest.

 

Watch the video featured in Time magazine here: http://time.com/3053081/running-daily/

 

Read the associated research article here:

http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleID=1891600


Via Peter Mellow, Richard Haddad, H2O Alkalizer, Demarcio Washington
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

A sense of purpose can also add years to your life http://sco.lt/6CWyOH

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Richard Haddad's curator insight, August 3, 2:21 PM

je ne vais pas contredire d'eminents cardiologues, mais 5mn me parait trop court , a peine le temps de chauffer ses muscles 

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How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?

We all spend about 24 years of our lives sleeping, and although the exact function of sleep is still being debated by science, one or two sleepless nights are enough to make us feel groggy and anxious.

 

But how many hours of shuteye do we need really every night to make sure we always feel refreshed?

 

If you only get four to six hours of sleep a day, could a few nights of good sleep help you feel better?

 

Watch the video and read more here:
http://www.sciencealert.com.au/features/20142807-25935.html

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Sleep and lack of sleep is something business executives and college students deal with everyday.

 

One may even speculate that lack of sleep during university is part of the training and preparation for executive level employment.

 

Nonetheless, sleep is important for a variety of reasons and more scoops on the topic can be read here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Sleep

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Natural solution to keep bread mold-free

Natural solution to keep bread mold-free | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
Scientists have finally found a way to make bread last longer—and the new method replaces chemical preservatives with plants' active ingredients.

 

Packaged bread contains preservatives to extend the shelf life of the product. But Brazilian researchers have found a way to reduce the amount of chemicals put into bread while making it last longer.

 

Called 'active packaging', this alternative adds natural preservatives to the packing material instead of chemicals to the fresh bread. The compounds used in active packaging come from plants such as oregano and clove, which have natural antimicrobial properties.

 

The team of scientists from the University of Viscosa in Brazil have mixed plants’ essential oils with water, and a thickener derived from plant material and used them to make ‘edible films'. The team explained to Business Insider that "these techniques could be used on a larger scale, on different types of bread. For example, the edible films are great for vacuum-packed food, where the sachets wouldn’t work." Now they are  applying these films to fruits, meat products, and dairy products to see if they get the same results.

 

Check out the infographic here:

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20142707-25932.html

 

Research article can be viewed here:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf501055f

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Interesting to see natural products from common herbs used in a simple but effective application. Functional foods with antimicrobial, antioxidant and other nutritional properties are an area of active research:

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Functional+Foods

 

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It's Lack of Exercise—Not Calories—That Make Us Fat, Study Says

It's Lack of Exercise—Not Calories—That Make Us Fat, Study Says | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

A new study published recently in the American Journal of Medicine reported over the last 20 years there has been a sharp drop in Americans’ physical exercise, and an increase in average body mass index (BMI), but that average caloric intake has remained the same.


The Stanford University researchers looked at NHANES data over the last 20 years, and found that the number of U.S. women who reported doing no physical activity went from 19.1% in 1994 to 51.7% in 2010. For men, the number increased from 11.4% in 1994 to 43.5% in 2010. During the same time frame, the average BMI of men and women also went up.


It’s true that we’ve started relying too much on calories, and the simple advice of eat less exercise more isn’t always the answer. Well-respected researchers in the nutrition community argue what’s more important is avoiding the refined carbohydrates like white bread and sugary processed foods which have become staples in our diets. Instead, we should focus on better food quality, and of course, getting more physical activity.

 

Read more here:
http://time.com/2964554/its-lack-of-exercise-not-calories-that-make-us-fat-study-says/

 

Read the research article here:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002934314001910


Via PAT NOVAK
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

It is rather alarming that 51.7 % of women and 43.5% of men in America do not exercise. The 2010 figures are more than double that of 1994.

 

The article also describes several important issues:

Poor satiation of refined carbohydrates: http://sco.lt/4uxLQ9

Importance of excercise http://sco.lt/894BkH

Focusing on better food quality http://sco.lt/7lEwkb

   

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Enhancement of antioxidant properties by drying treatments

Cooking, heating and processing of foods are widely considered to reduce the bioactivity of food such as its antioxidative properties. 

These slides show examples of food with enhanced antioxidative properties after processing. 

The research paper from which these slides were extracted from can be downloaded here: 
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2231253613000076

http://www.academia.edu/5915010/Antioxidant_properties_of_herbs_with_enhancement_effects_of_drying_treatments_A_synopsis


Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Slides that I presented to three visiting scientists from Neo-Morgan Laboratory, Japan. They were visiting UCSI University to discuss the possibility of forging a collaboration.

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Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked

Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
We are not biologically identical to our Paleolithic predecessors, nor do we have access to the foods they ate. And deducing dietary guidelines from modern foraging societies is difficult because they vary so much by geography, season and opportunity

 

Proponents of the Paleo diet follow a nutritional plan based on the eating habits of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period, between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. Before agriculture and industry, humans presumably lived as hunter–gatherers: picking berry after berry off of bushes; digging up tumescent tubers; chasing mammals to the point of exhaustion; scavenging meat, fat and organs from animals that larger predators had killed; and eventually learning to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears, nets, bows and arrows.


Diet has been an important part of our evolution—as it is for every species—and we have inherited many adaptations from our Paleo predecessors. Understanding how we evolved could, in principle, help us make smarter dietary choices today. But the logic behind the Paleo diet fails in several ways: by making apotheosis of one particular slice of our evolutionary history; by insisting that we are biologically identical to stone age humans; and by denying the benefits of some of our more modern methods of eating.


One blogger wrote, "while the world has changed in innumerable ways in the last 10,000 years (for better and worse), the human genome has changed very little and thus only thrives under similar conditions." This is simply not true. In fact, this reasoning misconstrues how evolution works. If humans and other organisms could only thrive in circumstances similar to the ones their predecessors lived in, life would not have lasted very long.

 

Several examples of recent and relatively speedy human evolution underscore that our anatomy and genetics have not been set in stone since the stone age. Within a span of 7,000 years, for instance, people adapted to eating dairy by developing lactose tolerance.

 

Read the full article here:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-paleo-diet-half-baked-how-hunter-gatherer-really-eat/

 


Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Diet garners a lot of interests from netizens. While the eating natural carries a lot of appeal, there are many pseudoscientific diets out there, some of which are dangerous such as the fruitarian diet which killed Steve Jobs.

 

Read more about how humans evolved lactose tolerance here: http://sco.lt/8Z1fmr


Nonetheless, it is advisable to stay away from food with a high glycemic index: http://sco.lt/7lEwkb

 

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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's comment, July 19, 11:00 AM
@Sepp Hasslberger, @PAT NOVAK and @Ellen Diane, you may find this scoop interesting.
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The Science Behind The Perfect Grill

The perfect barbecue meat is tender and juicy, but cooking a piece of meat to perfection takes a lot of effort—science, however, can help you cook a faultless steak.

 

Watch this video and discover in less than eight minutes how to make the perfect barbecue.

 

Read more about BBQ science and whether or not BBQ generates carcinogens:

http://bbq.tamu.edu/bbq-science/

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/meat_science.html

http://chemistry.about.com/b/2013/05/05/barbeque-carcinogens.htm

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

There is quite a lot of science behind the preparation of meat. Previously, an article showing how beer can reduce the formation of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during a BBQ was scooped here: http://sco.lt/89oQsb


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Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change

Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

A new study, published recently in Nature Climate Change, suggests that – if current trends continue – food production alone will reach, if not exceed, the global targets for total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2050.

 

The study’s authors say we should all think carefully about the food we choose and its environmental impact. A shift to healthier diets across the world is just one of a number of actions that need to be taken to avoid dangerous climate change and ensure there is enough food for all.

 

“Western diets are increasingly characterised by excessive consumption of food, including that of emission-intensive meat and dairy products. We tested a scenario where all countries were assumed to achieve an average balanced diet - without excessive consumption of sugars, fats, and meat products. This significantly reduced the pressures on the environment even further,” said the team.

 

As populations rise and global tastes shift towards meat-heavy Western diets, increasing agricultural yields will not meet projected food demands of what is expected to be 9.6 billion people - making it necessary to bring more land into cultivation. This will come at a high price, warn the authors, as the deforestation will increase carbon emissions as well as biodiversity loss, and increased livestock production will raise methane levels. They argue that current food demand trends must change through reducing waste and encouraging balanced diets.

 

If we maintain ‘business as usual’, say the authors, then by 2050 cropland will have expanded by 42% and fertiliser use increased sharply by 45% over 2009 levels. A further tenth of the world’s pristine tropical forests would disappear over the next 35 years.

 

The study shows that increased deforestation, fertilizer use and livestock methane emissions are likely to cause GHG from food production to increase by almost 80%. This will put emissions from food production alone roughly equal to the target greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 for the entire global economy.

 

Read more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/changing-global-diets-is-vital-to-reducing-climate-change

 

Research article published in Nature Climate Change can be viewed here: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2353.html

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Ensuring a diverse diet is not only healthy and good for the environment, it also ensures food security. Crop diversity is one way of ensuring resilience to climate change. Although changing global diets would be challenging, research has shown that we can train our brains to prefer a healthier range of food http://sco.lt/5IXUzR

 

Read more scoops on climate change and food security here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Climate+Change

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Food+Security

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Three short walks can reverse the damage of three hours of sitting

Three short walks can reverse the damage of three hours of sitting | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

New research has revealed that breaking up three hours of sitting with three slow, five-minute walks undoes the damage that sitting causes to the leg arteries.

 

We all know by now that sitting for long periods of time can be deadly - recent research has linked prolonged sitting to high cholesterol, obesity and cardiovascular problems. This is partly because sitting makes the muscles in our bodies become lazy and stop contracting, causing blood to pool in our legs instead of being pumped back to the heart. This causes instant damage to the endothelial function of the arteries, which means that the inner lining of the blood vessels (the endothelium) begin to fail at dilating and contracting.

 

But new research by scientists from Indiana University in the US suggests we’re not all doomed. By taking three slow, five-minute walks, we can actually reverse the damage to our arteries caused by three hours of sitting down, the study shows.

 

The researchers investigated this by dividing up 12 non-obese men into two groups - one that sat at a desk for three hours without  moving their legs or feet (like most of us do each day), and another that sat at the desk for three hours but got up and took slow, five-minute walks on a treadmill three times during the period. This second group only walked at 3.2 kilometres an hour (2 miles per hour) at 30 minutes, 1.5 hours and 2.5 hours into the sitting.

 

After the three hours, the researchers used ultrasound to see what state the inner lining of the femoral arteries of the test subjects were in - the femoral artery is the large artery in the thigh which supplies blood to the leg. 

 

The arteries of the first group of men, who sat for three hours straight, had decreased dilation by an astonishing 50% compared to the start of the experiment. Their rate of blood flow had also dropped.

 

On the other hand, the group who took three short walks during the study didn’t experience any decrease in artery dilation. Although this experiment involved a small sample size, the results were so striking that they were statistically significant.

 

The results are published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=9000&issue=00000&article=97944&type=abstract

 

Read more here:

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20141109-26159.html

 

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Some of the health hazards associated with sitting were previously scooped here: http://sco.lt/7l6c5Z

 

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Eating junk food triggers a cycle of unhealthy food choices

Eating junk food triggers a cycle of unhealthy food choices | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
Scientists have shown that junk food not only makes rats fat, it also stops them from trying different foods and seeking out a balanced diet.

 

Research by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has found that a diet of junk food can change rats' eating behaviour and trap them in a cycle of unhealthy eating. The team of scientists, led by head of pharmacology Margaret Morris, taught male rats to associate two different sound cues with two flavours of sugar water - cherry and grape.

 

Usually rats, and most other animals, will avoid a flavour or food that they’ve recently over indulged in. This is an inborn mechanism that protects against overeating and promotes a healthy, balanced diet in animals.

 

To test the effect junk food had on this mechanism, they fed one group of the rats a healthy diet for two weeks, and the other a diet of cafeteria foods, including dumplings, cookies and cakes, which had around 150 percent more calories than the healthy diet. The researchers then tested how the different groups responded to sound cues for the two types of flavoured water.


They found that the healthy rats would stop responding to cues for a flavour they’d recently overindulged in and try the new flavour instead, as they normally would. But the rats who had been living on junk food for a fortnight changed their behaviour dramatically. Not only did their weight increase by 10 percent, they also became indifferent to their food choices and didn’t avoid the sound cues for the water they’d recently overindulged in. Instead, they continued to drink the overfamiliar taste, and lost their natural preference for new flavours.

 

Even one week after the rats returned to their healthy diet, the changes persisted. The results are published in Frontiers in Psychology.

http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00852/abstract


Read more here:

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20140109-26102.html

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

These findings explain why the early stages are the most difficult when switching to a healthier diet. 

 

Read more scoops on healthy diets here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Diet

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You can train your brain to prefer healthy foods

You can train your brain to prefer healthy foods | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
It might be possible to train your brain to prefer healthy foods over unhealthy, higher-calorie foods, according to new research.

 

A team from Tufts University and Massachusetts General Hospital in the US has performed a brain scan study on a group of adult men and women to find that it might be possible for us to ignore the addictive powers of junk food while also developing a preference for healthy foods.


“We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” said lead researcher and professor of psychiatry Susan B. Roberts from the Tufts Energy Metabolism Laboratory in a press release. “This conditioning happens over time in response to eating - repeatedly! - what is out there in the toxic food environment.”

 

Previous studies have suggested that once you grow addicted to unhealthy foods, it can become extremely difficult to wean yourself off them, which makes it hard for people who have gained weight from a poor diet to change their habits. To investigate this, Roberts and her team studied the reward system in the brain of 13 overweight and obese men and women, eight of which were already trying to lose weight by following a dieting program that was specifically designed to stop them from getting hungry. They were instructed to get 25% of their energy from protein and fat and half from low-glycemic carbohydrates. The other five participants were not trying to lose weight, so acted as controls.


Their brains were studied via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at the beginning of the study, and then six months later at the end. The team found that in the weight-loss group, there were changes in the areas of the brain’s reward centre that are associated with learning and addiction - they now had increased sensitively towards healthy, low-calorie foods, and decreased sensitivity towards unhealthy foods. This means when they ate healthy foods, they got greater enjoyment than when they were eating unhealthy foods.

 

The team reported their findings in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes.

http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v4/n9/full/nutd201426a.html


Read more here:

http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20140309-26117.html


Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Our food can also influence our brains,  changing their eating habits could be a key part of these people’s recovery from depression. A team Deakin University, Australia is studying the link between depression and diet   http://sco.lt/4xwpAv

 

Read more scoops on the human brain:

http://www.scoop.it/t/biotech-and-beyond/?tag=Brain

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Is fast food making us depressed?

Is fast food making us depressed? | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

The people entering Felice Jacka’s offices over the next few months will be in the throes of depression. She wants to help them – but her approach is unorthodox. Her team at Deakin University in Australia won’t be trying out a new cocktail of drugs. Nor will they be mulling over the patient’s childhood, their jobs, or their marital difficulties to help them cope with their problems. Instead, she wants them to talk about food.

 

If Jacka is right, changing their eating habits could be a key part of these people’s recovery. She has good reason to believe this; over the last few years, a series of striking findings have begun to suggest that fatty, sugary diets are bad for the mind, as well as the body. The result is a cascade of reactions in the brain that can eventually lead to depression.

 

To grasp why your favourite dishes could be influencing your mental health, you first need to understand a strange aspect of the mind-body connection that first came to light 20 years ago. At the time, doctors were concerned that the stresses of poor mental health would weaken the body’s immune response, leaving them open to infection. Instead, they found the exact opposite was true; in people with depression, the immune system seemed to be going into over-drive. For instance, the blood of depressed people was awash with a particular type of protein, called cytokines, which normally lead to inflammation after illness or injury.


As the scientists pressed on, it became clear that this was a two-way process: not only could depression cause inflammation, but crucially,inflammation from other causes seems to be triggering depression. Some grounds for this link came from diseases that are known to send cytokines flushing through the body, like arthritis or cancer; patients often report depression before a diagnosis has even been made. “The people become depressed even before they know that they have cancer, and it ties in with the high levels of cytokines” says Michael Maes at Deakin University in Australia, who has pioneered work on the biological basis of depression.


Read more here:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140826-is-fast-food-making-us-depressed


A review of relevant research articles can be read here:

http://www.currentpsychiatry.com/home/article/depression-and-inflammation-examining-the-link/b436332438ceca4baabe8be08701d6dc.html


Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Inflammation provides a surprising link between eating habits and depression. Many increase their sugar intake when they feel depressed and the research above shows that it may be contributing to their depression. 

 

Other scoop related to inflammation can be read here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Inflammation

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Beth A. Williams's curator insight, September 1, 12:09 PM

More studies have positively connected the mind-body connection. This one also ties food in to the connection with inflammation, depression and levels of wellness. For those of us recovering from any kind of illness, and especially brain cancer,  why wait for 100% proof? Eating healthfully can serve us well in so many ways. In my personal experiment, I went after good nutrition, exercise and mindfulness as a way to support my recovery. Although depression "runs in the family," I have not suffered from this ailment since using the mind-body-spirit approach to recovery from brain cancer.

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Gen Z: Should smoking be banned?

Gen Z: Should smoking be banned? | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

Values Exchange (VX) is a collection of free online sites and school-based forums where over 40,000 young people across Australia, NZ, UK and USA can participate.


VX is primarily an educational tool designed for critical thinking and ethical reflection. Consistent and powerful trends have
emerged from many thousands of responses to issues ranging from 'favourite soft drink' to 'should smoking be banned',
giving a voice to Gen Z - a new generation of citizens.

 

On the matter of smoking, the survey showed that Gen Z kids understand the ill effects of smoking very well. The vast majority of Gen Z kids reject smoking, however a handful see the importance of allowing people to choose. 

 

Watch the video comparing the lung capacity of a smoker and a non-smoker via SPLOID:

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/terrifying-video-shows-the-lung-capacity-of-smokers-vs-1626419354

 

Read the results of the VX survey here:

http://genzsays.com/wp-content/uploads/Gen_Z_Says_teaser_report.pdf

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Generation Z refers to individuals born at the dawn of the current millennium, many of whom are currently in their teens. The results of the survey shows that Gen Z kids have good access to information and are socially aware. 

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Bullies get health benefits from their behavior

Bullies get health benefits from their behavior | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
A new study in PNAS that investigates the long-lasting physical effects of bullying on both victims and their aggressors finds that bullies show lower levels of inflammation, which is linked to higher risks of chronic diseases like cancer or heart trouble

 

William Copeland, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center, and other researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that bullies show lower levels of inflammation, a biological process linked to higher risks of chronic diseases such as heart trouble and cancer, while victims show spikes in the very inflammatory markers that could prime them for serious health problems. The results aren’t an excuse for bullying, says Copeland, but serve as a lesson for how social status can have lasting positive effects on health—as long as it doesn’t come at the price of hurting others.

 

The fact that there are physical benefits to being the top dog socially—and that these effects are long-lasting—is an important message of the study. And it’s not just bullying—other research has linked higher socioeconomic status to lower levels of inflammation. But what distinguishes Copeland’s work is the long consequence of this effect, which extended from childhood into young adulthood. “It shows the possibility of social interactions for positively affecting a person’s health,” he says. “It’s striking that we can still detect that effect down the road.”

 

Clearly, there are ways to enhance your social status without threatening to pound your peers. Copeland hopes the study serves as an endorsement of more positive ways of promoting self-esteem and confidence: through athletics, extracurricular activities and other experiences that can help people feel good about themselves—and that don’t come at the expense of others. Bullying shouldn’t be its own reward.

 

Read more here: http://time.com/96848/bullying-can-make-a-bully-healthier/

 

Read Copeland's research article in PNAS here:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/05/09/1323641111

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Self-esteem and purpose may add years to your life, and there are studies which support this http://sco.lt/6CWyOH

 

This is a provocative finding and Copeland makes a good point, endorsing the search of more positive ways of promoting self-esteem.

 

@Jocelyn Stoller scooped an interesting article on how bullying negatively affects the health, psychology and social outcomes of both victims and bullies compared to children who were uninvolved in bullying http://sco.lt/7T2xzV

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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's comment, August 13, 1:03 AM
@Barb Jemmott, @Bobby Dillard and @Ellen Diane, a scoop you may be interested in.
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The Science of Cooking Frozen Steaks

Fresh is always best, but here's the science behind the best steak out of the freezer you’ll ever eat. Conventional wisdom states that frozen steaks need to be thawed before cooking. Cook's Illustrated senior editor Dan Souza decided to test this, taking eight frozen steaks, thawing half of them overnight in the fridge and keeping the other half frozen.

 

He then cooked both sets of steaks in the pan for 90 seconds on each side to get a good sear, and then put them in the oven to cook for as long as it took for them to reach medium rare, or an internal temperature of 51 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit). The frozen steaks were found to have a thinner layer of grey, overcooked meat just under the crust, as compared to the thawed steaks, and they lost on average 9 percent less moisture during cooking. And most importantly, in the test kitchen, Souza says the chefs preferred the cooked frozen steaks over the cooked thawed ones, “hands down”.

 

Therefore, do not thaw steaks before cooking. “It’s the best steak out of the freezer you’ll ever eat,” says Souza. So what’s the science behind all of this? Read more here: http://www.sciencealert.com.au/features/20141008-25998-2.html

 

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Previously, another video on the science of a good barbecue was scooped here http://sco.lt/8fWzYH


Another article showing how beer can reduce the formation of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during a barbecue was scooped here: http://sco.lt/89oQsb

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Diet Affects Men’s and Women’s Intestinal Microbes Differently

Diet Affects Men’s and Women’s Intestinal Microbes Differently | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

 The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published this week in the journal Nature Communications. 


“Our study asks not just how diet influences the microbiome, but it splits the hosts into males and females and asks, do males show the same diet effects as females?” said Daniel Bolnick, professor in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences and lead author of the study.

 

The researchers studied the gut microbes in two species of fish and in mice, and also conducted an in-depth analysis of data that other researchers collected on humans. They found that in fish and humans diet affected the microbiota of males and females differently. In some cases, different species of microbes would dominate, while in others, the diversity of bacteria would be higher in one sex than the other.

 

These results suggest that any therapies designed to improve human health through diet should take into account whether the patient is male or female. Genetics and diet can affect the variety and number of these microbes in the human gut, which can in turn have a profound influence on human health. Obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease have all been linked to low diversity of bacteria in the human gut.

 

One concept for treating such diseases is to manipulate the microbes within a person’s gut through diet. The idea is gaining in popularity because dietary changes would make for a relatively cheap and simple treatment.

 

Read more here:

http://www.utexas.edu/news/2014/07/29/diet-affects-microbes-differently-by-gender/

 

Read Daniel Bolnick's research article in Nature Communications here:

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140729/ncomms5500/full/ncomms5500.html


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Previously, it was assumed that men and women have mostly similar biological functions. This is an interesting paradigm shift indeed. 

 

This has future implication with our diet and how we treat diseases.

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Diet

http://www.scoop.it/t/biotech-and-beyond/?tag=Novel+Therapies

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Five Ways to Fall Asleep Quicker at Night

Five Ways to Fall Asleep Quicker at Night | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

Many of us encounter troubles when attempting to fall asleep on a nightly basis. Without a great nights sleep we could face various obstacles throughout the following day. There could be a number of different reasons why we are unable to fall asleep at night. Though it may be difficult to pin point exactly what is keeping you awake, here are a few possible reasons:


1. Messy bedroom

2. Naps throughout the day

3. Skipping breakfast

4. Dreading the wakeup


These are just a few of the possible reasons that you are lacking in the sleep department. With this being said, there are still various ways to fall asleep quicker at night even if you don’t fall under these categories. Five different ways to fall asleep quicker at night include:

 

1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
2. Mindless Activity
3. Don’t use your Mobile as an Alarm
4. Practice Deeper / Relaxing Breathing
5. Listen to Soothing Sounds

 

Read more about the five ways of getting a good nights sleep here:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/five-ways-fall-asleep-quicker-night.html


Via Barb Jemmott
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Much of the causes of sleep difficulty listed here are due to stress. Stress also affects our willpower, self-control and ability to focus on the task at hand.

 

This scoop highlights six ways of reducing stress and boosting self-control: http://sco.lt/7boqwL

 

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Superfoods or superfrauds? Scientists are unimpressed

Superfoods or superfrauds? Scientists are unimpressed | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

New superfoods seem to be discovered with increasing frequency but rather like Superman they tend to be a fantasy construct. The label seems to attach itself to any foodstuff that is rich in a particular nutrient. Goji berries, an original superfood, have a lot of vitamin C, while the quinoa seed contains all nine essential amino acids.

 

Both quinoa and goji berries – and other prominent superfoods such as kale, acai berries, blueberries and green tea – also contain high levels of vitamins that act as antioxidants. With this elevation in status often come wildly exaggerated claims that blockbuster nutrients will stave off ageing or prevent some as-yet-incurable disease like cancer. Who needs superpowers when you can eat superfoods?

 

While the description is widely used in blogs and the media, it has no status in science – you’ll struggle to find it referenced in a peer-reviewed journal. ‘‘It’s just a marketing tool used by people to push a certain food,’’ says Dr Paul Roach, a University of Newcastle biochemist. The problem with the term is that it implies a food contains all the nutrients the body needs, he says. ‘‘But there is no such food.”

 

Read more comments by scientists and physicians here:

http://richarddawkins.net/2014/07/superfoods-or-superfrauds-scientists-are-unimpressed/

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Superfoods such as quinoa are indeed popular with all the hype on social and conventional media. The United Nations even declared 2013 "Year of Quinoa" http://sco.lt/5PETab

 

Unfortunately, the popularity of superfoods are also affecting the livelihood of farmers who plant more mundane food crops http://sco.lt/5gabUP

 

Read about other food myths here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/food-health-and-nutrition/?tag=Myth

 

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6 Scientifically Proven Ways To Boost Your Self-Control

6 Scientifically Proven Ways To Boost Your Self-Control | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

The prefontal cortex (that section of the brain right behind your forehead) is the part that helps us with things like decision-making and regulating our behavior. Self-control, or willpower, falls under this heading, and thus is taken care of in this part of the brain.

 

We can look at willpower like a muscle--it can get exhausted by overuse, but just like our physical muscles, there are some researchers who believe we might be able to strengthen our willpower by training it.

 

To be effective at controlling our urges and making sound decisions, the prefontal cortex needs to be looked after. That means feeding it with good-quality food so it has enough energy to do its job and getting enough sleep. Here are six specific ways to boost your willpower and self-control:

 

1. Increase your capacity for pressure: Learn how to manage stress

2. Encourage yourself to stick to your plan

3. Get more sleep to help your brain manage energy better

4. Meditate

5. Better exercise and nutrition: The most ignored route 

6. Postpone things for later to gain focus on what’s important now

 

Read more about these six ways here:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3032513/work-smart/6-scientifically-proven-ways-to-boost-your-self-control

 

Read the associated research articles here:

http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/96/4/770/

http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/16/6/351.short

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=206050


Via Pamir Kiciman, Bobby Dillard
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

The human brain is a finely tuned machine which needs to be taken care of. Read more about the brain here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/biotech-and-beyond/?tag=Brain

 

A previous scoop also describes ways to maintain our focus in the digital age of limitless information http://sco.lt/90xEu1

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Prebiotics & Probiotics: Why you need them and where to find them?

Prebiotics & Probiotics: Why you need them and where to find them? | Food, Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it

"Just what are probiotics and why are they so good for you? Probiotics are "viable microorganisms" that can confer lots and lots of health benefits if they reach your intestine while they're alive. You may have heard them described as "friendly bacteria." These bacteria aren't just friendly, they're flat-out adorable.. They're currently being touted as a miracle cure for a whole host of ailments, whether you're dealing with acne, depression, diarrhea, or even cancer. Even if you're not dealing with any of those ailments, you want to make sure your GI tract is flourishing, and pre probiotics are necessary to maintaining your digestion—which is, in turn, key to your general health (not to mention pooping)."

 

Read more about probiotics and prebiotics here:

http://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/prebiotics-probiotics-what-foods-have-them-why-you-need-more-your-diet-0156207/

 


Via PAT NOVAK
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

This was scooped from a good article which gives a clear distintion between probiotics and prebiotics. It also has a great infographic showcasing the function of the digestive system.

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Jason & ChoyLeng's curator insight, August 22, 1:58 AM

Get to know about prebiotics and probiotics ....