Sunday, February 21, 2016

Chug, Don’t Sip? The Impact of Liquid Diets on Your Teeth

Danger of adverse effects on Teeth from Liquid Diet
Keeping the mouth awash in certain liquids can be harmful
Newswise, February 21, 2016 — Liquid diets are all the rage. We’re bombarded daily with advice on how juicing can cleanse the body, the benefits of protein shakes as meal replacements, and even drinking tea to keep sickness at bay. While liquid diets do have value, they can be destructive to the teeth if you’re not careful.

“The biggest problem with liquid diets is the act of bathing your teeth in a liquid all day—they can be especially harmful if the liquid is acidic or has added or natural sugar,” said Cherri Kading, R.D.H., M.S., director of clinical operations at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. “Tooth decay and erosion of tooth enamel are the biggest concerns associated with liquid diets.”

Like the name suggests, a liquid diet is when the majority of a person’s calorie intake comes from drinking liquids. Some liquid diets are limited to fruit or vegetable juices, or even shakes that replace all of your meals. While many liquid diets are personal choices, some need medical supervision.

Certain liquid diets like juicing do have related health benefits, but Kading emphasized some fruits are better than others for your teeth. “Apples, pineapples and grapes have more sucrose than fruits like berries and pears,” she said. “Fruits are good for us, but we need to be mindful of how much sugar we’re exposing the mouth to.”

According to Kading, sugar and acids are some of the leading culprits behind tooth decay.

“Sports drinks, soft drinks, and even some fruit juices are extremely acidic,” she said. “If you drink these chronically they can cause erosion, which is like a “melting away” of the enamel. Sugar content in these drinks is troublesome, too, because sugar feeds the bacteria that live on the teeth and eventually causes decalcification—the beginning process of a cavity.”

The amount of liquid and how often we drink it per day is also key. “We need to ask ourselves how often are we drinking our tea, coffee or soft drinks,” Kading said.

“If you’re constantly sipping on something that contains sugar or acid, your mouth never has time to recover from the effects these ingredients may cause. Saliva is what neutralizes the mouth, and it’s important to give the mouth a break from both acid and sugar so the saliva can do its job.”

Worth noting, water is the only liquid acceptable to sip all day. Kading stressed those who partake in liquid diets should always be drinking water along with any other liquids. “If you’re drinking water, this will help dilute, flush and cleanse the mouth,” she said.

If you’ve recently had oral or jaw surgery, liquids may be your only nutrient option—at least for a little while. Kading said health care professionals should always educate their patients on the cavity process, so they understand why proper care of the teeth is essential while on a liquid diet.

“You can’t just send the patient off with a special toothbrush or floss and tell them to use it. You have to tell them why it’s important,” she said. “If the patient doesn’t understand the ‘why’ behind proper oral care during a liquid diet, they are likely not to stick with their oral care regimen. Patients need to know not to sip on acidic drinks, to watch sugar intake and always rinse with water.”

But, don’t think liquid diets are all bad for the mouth. “There can be some benefits to liquid diets,” Kading said.

“One is that liquids wash over your teeth and are easily rinsed out with water. The best way to approach a liquid diet is drink your shake or juice, rinse with water and then be done with it. The real harm lies in sipping on drinks and keeping your mouth awash in acids and sugar all day.”

About Texas A&M Health Science Center

Texas A&M Health Science Center is Transforming Health through innovative research, education and service in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and medical sciences. As an independent state agency and academic unit of Texas A&M University, the health science center serves the state through campuses in Bryan-College Station, Dallas, Temple, Houston, Round Rock, Kingsville, Corpus Christi and McAllen. Learn more at or follow @TAMHSC on Twitter.

Friday, February 19, 2016

New Study Finds Clear Differences Between Organic and Non-Organic Milk and Meat

Key findings:
• both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
• organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats (myristic and palmitic acid) that are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
• organic milk contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
v organic milk contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
• conventional milk contained 74% more of the essential mineral iodine and slightly more selenium

Newswise, February 19, 2016 — In the largest study of its kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.

Analysing data from around the world, the team reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

Publishing their findings today in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team say the data show a switch to organic meat and milk would go some way towards increasing our intake of nutritionally important fatty acids.

Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explains:

"Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function.

"Western European diets are recognised as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake.

"But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients."

Western European diets are too low in omega-3 fatty acids

The systematic literature reviews analysed data from around the world and found that organic milk and meat have more desirable fat profiles than conventional milk and meat.

Most importantly, a switch from conventional to organic would raise omega-3 fat intake without increasing calories and undesirable saturated fat.

For example, half a litre of organic full fat milk (or equivalent fat intakes from other dairy products like butter and cheese) provides an estimated 16% (39 mg) of the recommended, daily intake of very long-chain omega-3, while conventional milk provides 11% (25 mg).

Other positive changes in fat profiles included lower levels of myristic and palmitic acid in organic meat and a lower omega-3/omega-6 ratio in organic milk. Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and carotenoids and 40% more CLA in organic milk were also observed.

The study showed that the more desirable fat profiles in organic milk were closely linked to outdoor grazing and low concentrate feeding in dairy diets, as prescribed by organic farming standards.

The two new systematic literature reviews also describe recently published results from several mother and child cohort studies linking organic milk and dairy product consumption to a reduced risk of certain diseases. This included reduced risks of eczema in babies.

Newcastle University's Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the studies, said:

"People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming on the environment, and the perceived health benefits. But much less is known about impacts on nutritional quality, hence the need for this study.

"Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases."

Avoiding iodine over- and under-supply from milk is a challenge

The study also found 74% more iodine in conventional milk which is important information, especially for UK consumers, where iodized table salt is not widely available.

Iodine is low in most foods, except seafood, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends Iodine fortification of table salt to address this. Iodine fortification of cattle feeds is also widely used to increase iodine concentrations in both organic and conventional milk.

Gillian Butler, co-author and senior lecturer in animal nutrition at Newcastle University, explains:

"There is a relatively narrow margin between dietary Iodine deficiency (<140 µg/day) and excessive intakes (> 500 µg/day) from our diet which can lead to thyrotoxicoxis.

"Optimising iodine intake is therefore challenging, since globally there seems to be as much concern about excessive rather than inadequate intake."

In the USA, China, Brazil and many European countries, where Iodine fortified salt is widely used, elevated levels of iodine in milk may increase the risk of excessive intake for individuals with high dairy consumption.

For this reason the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed a reduction in the permitted level of iodine in cattle feed from 5 to 2 mg iodine per kg of feed.

However, in the UK, where iodized salt is not widely available, the population relies more on milk and dairy products for adequate iodine supply. National Diet and Nutrition Survey data (NDNS) suggest that milk and dairy products supply between 31-52% of iodine in the UK diet.

The daily recommended intake of iodine in the UK is 140 µg/day and just over half comes from dietary sources other than milk/dairy products. Based on results from the study, half a litre of milk would provide 53% of and 88% of the daily recommended intake from organic and conventional milk respectively. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women have a higher iodine requirement (250 µg/day) and are therefore more at risk of iodine deficiency, which could affect neurological development in babies.

Further evidence of the health benefits of organic food

The work builds on a previous study by the team - involving experts from the UK, US, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Poland - investigating the composition of organic and conventionally-grown crops.

This previous study - also published in the British Journal of Nutrition - showed that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops and contained less of the toxic metal cadmium.

"We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food. Taken together, the three studies on crops, meat and milk suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids," concludes Professor Leifert.

"We need substantially more, well designed studies and surveys before we can accurately estimate composition differences in meat from different farm animals and for many nutritionally important compounds (vitamins, minerals, toxic metal and pesticide residues), as there is currently too little data to make comparisons.

"However, the fact that there are now several mother and child cohort studies linking organic food consumption to positive health impacts shows why it is important to further investigate the impact of the way we produce our food on human health.

The authors highlight that only a small number of studies have been carried out comparing organic and non-organic meat, and that even significant results may still carry a high level of uncertainty

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Daily Dose of Beetroot Juice Improved Endurance and Blood Pressure in Older Patients with Common Type of Heart Diseas

Beetroot offers improved endurance and lower blood pressure in elderly patients
Newswise, February 13, 2016– Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have found that a daily dose of beetroot juice significantly improved exercise endurance and blood pressure in elderly patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF).

The study is published in the current online edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure.

Exercise intolerance – shortness of breath and fatigue with normal amounts of exertion -- is the primary symptom of HFPEF and is due partly to non-cardiac factors that reduce oxygen delivery to active skeletal muscles.

HFPEF is a recently recognized disease that reflects how the left ventricle of the heart pumps with each beat. It occurs primarily in older women and is the dominant form of heart failure, as well as the most rapidly increasing cardiovascular disorder in this country. 

Emerging evidence suggests that dietary inorganic nitrate supplementation has beneficial effects on blood pressure control, vascular health, exercise capacity and oxygen metabolism.

The Wake Forest Baptist researchers enrolled 19 people in a double-blinded, randomized safety study to determine which was better at improving exercise intolerance, a single dose or a daily dose of the juice given over multiple days.

The beetroot juice used is produced by a company in the United Kingdom and is not commercially available in this country.

First, aerobic endurance and blood pressure were measured after the participants received either a single dose of beetroot juice or a placebo.

The researchers then administered a daily dose of beetroot juice to all 19 patients for an average of seven days, and measured endurance and blood pressure again. The juice dose in the study was equivalent to 2.4 ounces containing approximately 6 millimoles of inorganic nitrate.

The team found that the daily dosing of beetroot juice improved aerobic endurance by 24 percent after one week, as compared to the single dose which produced no improvement. Aerobic endurance was measured as cycling time to exhaustion at a fixed workload lower than their maximum.

Another finding was that consumption of the juice significantly reduced resting systolic blood pressure in both the single and daily dose groups by 5 to 10 mmHg.

No adverse events were associated with either intervention.

“Although larger trials need to be conducted, these initial findings suggest that one week of daily beetroot juice could be a potential therapeutic option to improve aerobic endurance in patients with HFPEF, which has implications for improving everyday activities and quality of life,” said Dalane Kitzman, M.D., professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist and senior author of the study.

This work was partially supported by NIH grants R01AG18915, R01AG045551, P30AG021332, HL058091, The Kermit Glenn Phillips II Chair in Cardiovascular

Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the Moritz Chair in Geriatrics in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at the University of Texas at Arlington. It was also partially supported by the Translational Science Center of the Reynolda Campus of Wake Forest University.

Aging May Worsen the Effects of a High-Salt Diet

Reduced ability to rid the body of sodium could contribute to
Aging may worsen effects of high-salt diets
medical complications in the elderly

Newswise, February 13, 2016--Aging is associated with a number of changes that cause the body to function less efficiently, including the way the body controls water and sodium levels.

Research has shown that as humans and animals age, they are less able to regulate sodium and water retention, urine concentration and thirst compared to their younger counterparts.

A new article in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology finds that age significantly impaired the ability of rats to get rid of excess sodium when exposed to a high-salt diet.

These findings could have implications for salt consumption in the elderly; they suggest older people could be at greater risk for the negative consequences of consuming a high-salt diet.

“Changes in the control of sodium and water balance is a major characteristic of the normal human aging process and includes a decrease in thirst, urinary concentrating ability and capacity to excrete water and electrolytes,” the authors wrote.
Normally, the body responds to an increase in salt in the diet by producing more urine to flush out the excess sodium. But this response is blunted in older people.

“These changes in fluid and electrolyte regulation can put the elderly at increased risk for disorders of hyponatremia (due to water retention) or hypernatremia (as a result of sodium retention), which can cause central nervous system dysfunction and also negatively impact medication effectiveness, resulting in adverse clinical events and surgical outcomes as well as other physiological functions,” the researchers added.

Hong Ji, MD, and colleagues at Georgetown University, in collaboration with researchers at St. Louis University and Nova Southeastern University, looked at aldosterone, a steroid hormone made by the adrenal gland.

 Aldosterone helps to control the body’s amount of fluid and electrolytes—minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium in the blood that help regulate bodily functions and processes.

Aldosterone production is regulated by angiotensin type 1 (AT1) receptors, which become activated upon binding the peptide hormone angiotensin II. Previous research has found that aldosterone decreases with age and becomes less responsive to changes in the environment.

To investigate how age affected aldosterone levels and the animals’ response to dietary sodium, the research team put young and old rats on a low-sodium diet.
They observed that old rats ate and drank less than the young rats at the start of the study and had lower levels of aldosterone. After two weeks, all of the rats were switched to a high-salt diet for six days.

In response, all of the rats showed a decrease in the level of plasma aldosterone, but the decrease was significantly less in old rats. The young rats drank and urinated more. While the old rats also drank more water, it took them longer to increase their water intake and they still drank less than the younger rats.

The small increase in water did not help the old rats to produce more urine or more diluted urine, suggesting that they were not effectively clearing the excess sodium they consumed.

“The main findings of this study are that aging impaired the adrenal AT1 receptor response to a dietary sodium load in male Fischer rats,” the researchers wrote. 

“The number of adrenal AT1 receptors were not reduced as rapidly in response to a high salt diet compared to the young animals. These age-associated effects on adrenal AT1 receptors correlated with reduced water intake and plasma aldosterone with little change in urine volume, urine osmolality or plasma AVP (antidiuretic hormone).”

The article “Aging-related impairment of urine concentrating mechanisms correlates with dysregulation of adrenocortical angiotensin type 1 receptors in male Fischer rats” is published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read all of this month’s selected research articles on the APSselect website.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 11,000 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cluttered Kitchens Cause Over-Snacking

Cluttered Kitchens Cause Over-Snacking
Newswise, February 10, 2016– A cluttered and chaotic kitchen can often cause out-of-control stressful feelings. It might also cause something else — increased snacking of indulgent treats.

A new Cornell University study explored how a noisy, disruptive and disorganized environment influences how much women eat. Researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that the combination of stress and a messy environment leads to more snacking and an increase in the number of calories consumed.

“We found the more cluttered and confusing an environment was, the more people ate,” says co-author Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and director of the Food and Brand Lab. 

“It made them anxious, and when they got anxious, they ended up eating more cookies.”

But the news is not all discouraging for those with less-than-tidy kitchen space: a relaxed mindset can help reduce the pressure to overeat, counteracting the influence of a chaotic space.

For the study, 98 women were split among two different kitchen environments: one organized and quiet with no disruptions, and the other a “chaotic” kitchen full of disorganized tables, disheveled papers, and dishes scattered around.
In order to prime a certain mindset from participants, the researchers gave each person five minutes to complete one of three writing tasks. The prompts asked the women to either write about a time in their lives when they either felt organized and in control, or an opposite time when they were stressed. A third prompt considered a neutral condition.

Following the writing exercise, researchers provided bowls of carrots, crackers and cookies and asked the women to complete a taste survey, after which they were told to eat as much as they wanted.

Researchers discovered that stressed-out participants consumed twice as many cookies in a messy kitchen compared to those who ate in a quiet, organized space without disruption.

“Being in a chaotic environment and feeling out of control is bad for diets. It seems to lead people to think, ‘Everything else is out of control, so why shouldn’t I be?’” says lead author Lenny Vartanian, a former postdoctoral associate at the Food and Brand Lab and current associate professor of psychology at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

But there is hope for those who can’t seem to keep their kitchen clear. 

The researchers found that those who felt less stress weren’t as influenced by a messy environment. 

After writing about a time when they were felt organized and in control of their lives, women ate about 50 percent less than those who were stressed. The researchers concluded that taking a moment to recall a more controlled time in one’s life can help women resist the pressure to overeat.

“Although meditation, as a way of feeling in control, might be one way to resist kitchen snacking for some, it’s probably easier just to keep our kitchens picked up and cleaned up,” Wansink says.

While the research focused on women, Vartanian says, “I suspect the same would hold with males.”

“Seafood from Slaves” by The Associated Press wins USC Annenberg’s 2016 Selden Ring Award

Newswise, February 10, 2016--.Reporters from The Associated Press have won USC Annenberg’s 2016 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, for a series of stories that showed how seafood sold in U.S. grocery stores and restaurants had been produced by slaves.

Their work prompted reforms and prosecutions – and the release of more than 2,000 people who had been held captive in horrific circumstances.
“Seafood from Slaves,” by Esther Htusan, Margie Mason, Robin McDowell and Martha Mendoza, has shaken up the $7 billion-a-year Thai seafood export industry. 

The journalists not only tracked down captives and documented their conditions; they followed specific loads of slave-caught seafood to supply chains of particular brands and stores.

The $35,000 annual Selden Ring Award, which has been presented for 27 years by the School of Journalism at USC Annenberg, honors the year’s outstanding work in investigative journalism that led to direct results.

From the judges’ statement:

“Slavery at sea has been the subject of substantial journalism before, but the AP team went to new lengths to expose an abusive system from start to finish. They followed the trail to a tiny island in Indonesia, giving voice to those being held against their will and forced to work for nothing. That led to a follow-up story, documenting the freeing of captives spurred by the original report:

‘At first the men filtered in by twos and threes, hearing whispers of a possible rescue. Then, as the news rippled around island, hundreds of weathered former and current slaves with long, greasy hair and tattoos streamed from their trawlers, down the hills, even out of the jungle, running toward what they had only dreamed of for years: Freedom.’

‘The Burmese men were among hundreds of migrant workers revealed in an Associated Press investigation to have been lured or tricked into leaving their countries and forced into catching fish for consumers around the world, including the United States. In response to the AP’s findings, Indonesian government officials visited the island village of Benjina on Friday and found brutal conditions, down to an ‘enforcer’ paid to beat men up. They offered immediate evacuation.’

The AP team kept going from there. They logged the names of ships carrying seafood caught by slaves and used satellite data to track where they went and which companies sold the cargo. Reporters watched trucks being unloaded, following them to cold storage and processing factories that shipped the seafood abroad. Bit by bit, they put together a list of companies selling cargo caught by slaves and then connected that cargo to U.S. distributors.”
Mendoza, an AP National Writer who works out of Santa Cruz, Calif., explained the impetus of the project by the team that included McDowell and Htusan in Myanmar and Mason in Indonesia.

“The issue had been bubbling up a little in Southeast Asia, as some slaves escaped – but it hadn’t been getting much attention,” Mendoza said. “We set out to do two things that hadn’t been done before. One was to find people currently working as slaves, to put an end to the suggestions that the problem was behind us. The second thing was to specifically track the supply chain to the major retailers, so they could no longer disassociate themselves from the labor abuse.”

Winning the Selden Ring Award will bring more attention to the issue, Mendoza said. “The enslaved people were risking their lives when they spoke to us. Yet they told their stories with courage and integrity. They deserve the recognition.”

The AP’s entry letter described the lengths reporters went to as they tracked shipments of seafood, after finding slaves in cages on the remote Indonesian island of Benjina:

“On the island, the reporters logged the names of ships loaded with slave-caught seafood, then used satellite data to track them. One ship went to a Thai seaport, and so did our reporters. For four days, they hid in the back of a small truck, scrunched down behind tinted windows because the area was patrolled by gunmen for the fish mafia. 

The reporters watched as the seafood was unloaded into trucks, and they followed the trucks to cold storage and processing factories that then ship the seafood abroad.”

Before publishing the initial report in March 2015, the AP made sure the captives they quoted and photographed would not be punished our killed. They received help from the International Organization for Migration, which arranged for their rescue.

The reporting revealed more slavery in Thailand, where government officials had claimed the problem had been resolved. The team found children and migrants locked in filthy working conditions, peeling shrimp in fetid processing sheds. The investigation linked the sheds to supply chains that reach European and Asian markets and U.S. restaurants and chains including Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods and Red Lobster.

The impact of the reporting was swift and extensive. According to the AP, “The United Nations is now investigating labor abuses in supply chains, as are local district attorneys and federal law enforcement agencies. The European Union warned Thailand that it risked an EU seafood import ban if it failed to deal promptly with slavery in the industry. And the U.S. State Department cited the reporting when it kept Thailand on its blacklist for human trafficking.”

U.S. legislation has since been introduced that would require greater transparency from food suppliers.

“The Selden Ring Award underscores the importance of investigative journalism, which is extensive, time-consuming, uncomfortable and challenging,” Mendoza said. “This project really made a difference in people’s lives, and the award recognizes that.”

About the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is a national leader in education and scholarship in the fields of communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. 

With an enrollment of more than 2,000 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, master's and bachelor's degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals across a broad scope of academic inquiry. The school's comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core skills of leadership, innovation, service and entrepreneurship and draws upon the resources of a networked university located in the media capital of the world.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Popular Diet Myths Debunked

You can’t always trust the internet for nutrition advice

Diet Myths Debunked
Newswise, February 5, 2016 — Thousands flock to the internet in search of ways to boost a healthy lifestyle. Many popular diet facts and trends are circulated so often in the media that it’s hard to know which tips to trust and which ones should be tossed. Underneath popular opinion and platitudes, the truth about eating healthy may surprise you. A Texas A&M Health Science Center registered dietician separates myths from fact when it comes to your diet.

Gluten-free desserts are healthier

“Gluten-free desserts are not healthier than ‘normal’ desserts,” said Lisa Mallonee, a registered dietician with the Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. “In fact, gluten substitutes may actually increase calorie content and contribute to weight gain. With that being said, gluten-free food is great to consume by those diagnosed with celiac disease or who are gluten-intolerant—but gluten-free desserts should be eaten in moderation and with a balanced diet.”

Sugar free and fat free foods lead to fat-free bodies

When the words ‘sugar free’ or ‘fat free’ are splashed across a box of chocolate it’s probably easy to feel less guilty about eating the entire box in one sitting. “Fat free and sugar free do not mean foods are calorie free,” Mallonee said. “It doesn’t matter what type of food you are eating, if you are consuming more calories than you’re expending, you will gain weight.”
While browsing fat free or sugar free treats it’s essential to be a conscious label reader. In fact, the fat content in many of these ‘sugar free’ items can be extremely high. Similar to gluten-free desserts, when nutrients like fat are removed from food, artificial ingredients may be added back to the food to account for taste. This filler may lead to more calories.

Carbs make you fat

Carbs alone do not cause weight gain—instead, it’s the type of carbs we choose to consume that lead to more fat cells in the body. “We need carbs because they are the body’s main source of fuel,” Mallonee said. “The real problem with carbohydrates lies in the American diet rich in refined carbs and processed foods. Binging on these carbohydrates will contribute to weight gain.”
Mallonee recommends eating a balanced diet higher in complex carbs and lower in simple or processed carbs. “The average American needs to be consuming more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less processed foods, refined carbohydrates and white flour products,” she said.

Healthy food is more expensive

“Indeed, eating fresh may cost more than loading up your shopping cart with processed foods or fast food from restaurant value menus, but, in the big picture, it will likely cost you more in medical bills to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle,” Mallonee said. “You have to look at the long-term health impact.”
According to Mallonee, it is possible to eat clean at an economical price. “When it comes to fruits and vegetables my word of reason is to always buy in-season. We all have favorites but when we buy them year-round when they’re not in season we will see a price increase. You should always vary your palate—don’t be afraid to try the eggplant or cauliflower when it’s in season over broccoli or asparagus,” she said.

You’ll gain weight if you eat late at night

‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper.’ Have you ever heard this saying?
Mallonee said it doesn’t matter what time you’re eating as much as what you are eating. “This is more about portion control and how you’re expending calories,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what time of day you eat as long as you are eating a balanced diet, consuming foods in moderation and burning off more calories than you consume.”

Fasting is important to cleanse the body

Mallonee stressed she doesn’t recommend fasting unless it’s for religious purposes. “We already have a built in cleansing system: our kidneys and liver,” she said. “Simply fasting to ‘cleanse’ where you don’t eat for a certain number of days can be dangerous. I recommend consulting a physician prior to any extreme diet that encourages fasting for an extended period of time”
“Having a diet that’s fiber-rich is what moves toxins out of your body naturally,” she added. “The more fiber you consume the more it’s able to move food and the related toxins out of the body. Unfortunately, most Americans have a refined diet that is too low in fiber. This is what allows toxins to thrive inside our bodies. It’s important to know we all have cells with the potential to turn into cancer cells. The way we fuel our body determines if these are transformed into cancer cells or are terminated.”

Energy bars are good for weight loss

Our busy lives often don’t allow for adequate meal preparation and many Americans turn to energy bars as a quick and easy meal replacement. Mallonee stressed that while energy bars are convenient, they need to be consumed along with a balanced diet and we should be wary of their ingredients.
“Most of the time I refer to energy bars as glorified candy bars,” she said. “They can be extremely high in fat and sugar content. While they may be a good way for athletes to consume extra calories, I wouldn’t recommend them for a person trying to boost fat loss.”

You can’t always trust the internet

The internet is an excellent resource for diet tips and healthy living, but it can be untrustworthy. It’s always best to talk to your health care provider or a registered dietician to get the most up-to-date and factual nutrition advice.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Individuals with Eating Disorders Are at Increased Risk of Death

Eating Disorders can lead to increased Risk of Death
Newswise. February 1, 2016  —. Results from a newly published study indicate that individuals with eating disorders are at increased risk of death compared to the general population.

Investigators found that individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) had a five times higher mortality rate than their same age peers. Individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), including binge eating disorder (BED), also—to a lesser extent—had elevated mortality. Most patients with AN died of natural causes closely related to the eating disorder. Suicide was the primary cause of non-natural demise.

The study revealed that risk factors for premature death included a higher number of lifetime eating disorder hospitalizations, premature discharge from a hospital program, developing an eating disorder at an older age, poor social adjustment, and lower body mass index (BMI) at time of hospitalization.

The researchers conclude that “suicide is a major concern not only in AN, but in all eating disorders, calling for intensive attention of all clinicians.”

The finding that premature discharge from treatment was associated with shorter time to death underscores the importance of maintaining and supporting individuals with eating disorders during the treatment process.

Dr. Manfred Fichter, lead author of the study, stated that “there is still a desperate need to develop more effective treatments for eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa.”

This research underscores the severity of eating disorders, with increased mortality observed for AN, BN, and even eating disorders not meeting full diagnostic criteria.

This study was part of the larger Christina Barz Study conducted in Germany. Study results have been published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) is an international professional association committed to the leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment, and prevention. The goal of the AED is to provide global access to knowledge, research, and best treatment practice for eating disorders. For additional information, please contact Elissa Myers at (703) 626-9087 and visit the AED website at