Health and Fitness

Rye More Filling Than Wheat

Wholegrain bread is good and good for you, as most people know. But it is not only the fiber-rich bran, the outer shell of the grain, that is healthful. On the contrary, research at the Lund University Faculty of Engineering shows that bread baked with white rye flour, which is flour made from the inner, white part of the rye kernel, leads to better insulin and blood sugar levels compared with wheat bread with rye bran. White rye flour thus leads to much better values than both regular wheat flour and rye bran. At the same time, much of the bread that is sold in stores today in most countries is in fact baked with wheat flour and bran from various grains. The great difference between white rye and white wheat surprises the researchers. "Precisely what it is that makes rye lead to a stable blood sugar curve is as yet unknown. But we are getting closer and closer to an answer. There are several different types of rye, and all not all types have the same effect, which means that some of them can be omitted from future studies.

Could Eating Chocolate Reduce Your Risk Of Having A Stroke?

Eating a bar of chocolate a week could help prevent strokes, according to Canadian researchers. Scientists conducted a study of 50, 000 people and found that those eating chocolate were 22 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke than those who didn't. In addition, people who had a stroke but regularly ate chocolate were 46 per cent less likely to die as a result. Flavonoids The researchers claim that the reason for the findings could to be that the food is rich in flavonoids, an anti-oxidant. Note of caution However, the scientists were also keen to stress that it is important to keep in mind that eating too much chocolate will affect a person's weight, as chocolate is high in saturated fats. More research needed They also warned that more research will be needed to look into the possible link between eating chocolate and reducing the risk of stroke. Stroke is a diabetic complication Stroke and heart disease are common complications of diabetes. Don't start eating a lot of chocolate "We already know that there are compounds found in chocolate, called flavonoids, that are thought to provide some protection from heart disease, " said Libby Dowling, Care Adviser at Diabetes UK.

Linking Breast Cancer Patients With Alternative Therapies

Biological-based therapies such as diet supplements and vitamins are the most popular complementary and alternative medicines for women recovering from breast cancer, according to a Michigan State University researcher working to create a support intervention for women in treatment for the disease. Gwen Wyatt of MSU's College of Nursing, in research published in the current edition of Nursing Research, analyzed which CAM therapies - such as massage, supplements and reflexology - are used the most and why. She looked at the five major categories of therapies: biological, mind-body, manipulative and body, energy and alternative medical systems. "Quality of life is a research priority for the National Institutes of Health as it pertains to breast cancer, " Wyatt said. "Patients link symptoms to quality of life; if you have to live with breast cancer, then let's have the highest quality of life we can during the process and make it as humane as possible." She found that 57 percent of women are using CAM therapies, and the sicker a woman is the more likely she is to use multiple therapies.

Can Chocolate Lower Your Risk Of Stroke?

Eating chocolate may lower your risk of having a stroke, according to an analysis of available research that will be released and presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010. Another study found that eating chocolate may lower the risk of death after suffering a stroke. The analysis involved reviewing three studies on chocolate and stroke. "More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others, " said study author Sarah Sahib, BScCA, with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Sahib worked alongside Gustavo Saposnik, MD, MSc, where the study was completed at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto. Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a protective effect against stroke, but more research is needed. The first study found that 44, 489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate.

Development Of Dietary Formula That Maintains Youthful Function Into Old Age

Researchers at McMaster University have developed a cocktail of ingredients that forestalls major aspects of the aging process. The findings are published in the current issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine. "As we all eventually learn, ageing diminishes our mind, fades our perception of the world and compromises our physical capacity, " says David Rollo, associate professor of biology at McMaster. "Declining physical activity - think of grandparents versus toddlers - is one of the most reliable expressions of ageing and is also a good indicator of obesity and general mortality risk." The study found that a complex dietary supplement powerfully offsets this key symptom of ageing in old mice by increasing the activity of the cellular furnaces that supply energy - or mitochondria - and by reducing emissions from these furnaces - or free radicals - that are thought to be the basic cause of ageing itself. Most of the primary causes of human mortality and decline are strongly correlated with age and free-radical processes, including heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes, many cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.

National Diet And Nutrition Survey Published

Results from the first year of the new National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) suggest that the UK population is eating less saturated fat, less trans fat and less added sugar than it was 10 years ago. Saturated fat intakes in adults have dropped slightly to 12.8% of food energy, compared with 13.3% in 2000/01, and men and children are eating less added sugar. The population's trans fat intakes have also fallen slightly and are now at 0.8% of food energy, which is well within recommended levels. And, on average, adults are eating 4.4 portions of fruit and vegetables a day with over a third of men and women now meeting the '5-a-day' guideline. However, despite these encouraging indications, intakes of saturated fat are still above the recommended level of 11% of food energy intake, and at 12.5%, population intakes of added sugars still exceed the recommended 11%. The research shows that the overall picture of the diet and nutrition of the UK population is broadly similar to previous surveys in the NDNS series carried out between 1992 and 2001, although there are suggestions of positive changes.

The Calming Power Of Chamomile

Feeling stressed? Try chamomile! This 'traditional' remedy has been around for years, but how much truth is there behind this old wives' tale? In an evaluation for Faculty of 1000, Michael Van Ameringen and Beth Patterson draw attention to the first randomized controlled trial of chamomile for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The study, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, reports that "chamomile extract therapy was found to be efficacious for mild-moderate GAD". Patients with mild-moderate GAD were included in the study and received either chamomile or placebo. Those that received the chamomile treatment were found to have a significant change in the severity of their GAD. Van Amerigen and Patterson comment on the results of the study, saying that they "suggest that chamomile may have modest [anti-panic] activity in patients with mild-moderate GAD and may potentially be used in those who are averse to traditional pharmacotherapy".

It's Not The Amount Of TV, It's The Number Of Junk Food Commercials

The association between television viewing and childhood obesity is directly related to children's exposure to commercials that advertise unhealthy foods, according to a new UCLA School of Public Health study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study, conducted by Frederick J. Zimmerman and Janice F. Bell, is the first to break down the types of television children watch to better determine whether different kinds of content may exert different effects on obesity. The researchers gathered data from primary caregivers of 3, 563 children, ranging from infants to 12-year-olds, in 1997. Through time-use diaries, study respondents reported their children's activities, including television viewing, throughout the course of an entire weekday and an entire weekend day. Caregivers were also asked to report the format - television programs, DVDs or videos - and the names of the programs watched. This data was used to classify television viewing into either educational or entertainment programming and to determine whether or not it contained advertising or product placement.

Government Healthy Eating Messages Fail To Make An Impact

Increased Government spending on promoting healthy eating for the past ten years has made little difference to our eating habits, according to the findings of the Food Standards Agency survey (FSA). The nationwide survey shows that the majority of adults and young people are still eating too many processed foods and sweets and not enough oily fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. Only 35 per cent of adults and 15 per cent of teenagers eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The survey method The FSA asked 500 adults and 500 children to keep a diary for four days of what they ate, measured their weight and height and took blood samples. Researchers also checked the results against a nutrition survey done in 2000 and against the Government's own recommendations for nutrition. Healthy diet and physical activity are essential "Following a healthy, balanced diet and being physically active are essential if you want to cut down your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, " said Libby Dowling Care Advisor at Diabetes UK.

HHS Secretary And Surgeon General Join First Lady To Announce Plans To Combat Overweight And Obesity And Support Healthy Choices

First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced plans today to help Americans lead healthier lives through better nutrition, regular physical activity, and by encouraging communities to support healthy choices. At a YMCA in Alexandria, VA, they talked directly with national and local leaders, parents and health professionals about reducing overweight and obesity in adults and children. The First Lady recently announced that she will launch a major initiative on childhood obesity in the next few weeks and has asked HHS to play a key role. Today, HHS released The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation. In her first release to the nation, Dr. Benjamin highlights the alarming trend of overweight and obese Americans, and asks them to join her in a grassroots effort to commit to changes that promote the health and wellness of our families and communities. "The surge in obesity in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis that is threatening our children, our families, and our future, " said First Lady Michelle Obama.

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