Friday, August 21, 2009

Jon's Health Tips - Eating Right

Quite a few research reports published in the last 2 weeks focus on good and bad food choices. I try to avoid the bad foods, not always with success, but make up for it by eating lots of the good foods (not great for weight loss, however.)

Here’s a summary of food related research published in the last 2 weeks. Other interesting research from the same time period follows.

Oxycholesterol may pose greatest heart disease risk

High levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the so-called "bad" cholesterol) can increase the risk of heart attacks. Now scientists are reporting that another form of cholesterol called oxycholesterol — virtually unknown to the public — may be the most serious cardiovascular health threat of all.

Fried and processed food, particularly fast-food, contains high amounts of oxycholesterol. Avoiding these foods and eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, may help reduce its levels in the body, the researchers note.

Scientists have known for years that a reaction between fats and oxygen, a process termed oxidation, produces oxycholesterol in the body. Oxidation occurs, for instance, when fat-containing foods are heated, as in frying chicken or grilling burgers or steaks. Food manufacturers produce oxycholesterol intentionally in the form of oxidized oils such as trans-fatty acids and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils. When added to processed foods, those substances improve texture, taste and stability. Until now, however, much of the research focused on oxycholesterol's effects in damaging cells, DNA, and its biochemical effects in contributing to atherosclerosis. This is one of the first studies on oxycholesterol's effects in raising blood cholesterol levels compared to non-oxidized cholesterol.

Details here:

Whole grain cereals, popcorn rich in antioxidants

Snack foods like popcorn and many popular breakfast cereals contain "surprisingly large" amounts of healthful antioxidant substances called "polyphenols."

Polyphenols are a major reason why fruits and vegetables — and foods like chocolate, wine, coffee, and tea — have become renowned for their potential role in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

Until now, however, no one knew that commercial hot and cold whole grain cereals — regarded as healthful for their fiber content — and snack foods also were a source of polyphenols.

Details here:

Asparagus Good For Hangovers, Livers

The amino acids and minerals found in asparagus extract may alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins.

Details here:

Healthy Diet = No Kidney Stones

Researchers have found another reason to eat well: a healthy diet helps prevent kidney stones. Loading up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, while limiting salt, red and processed meats, and sweetened beverages is an effective way to ward off kidney stones. Because kidney stones are linked to higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, increased body weight, and other risk factors for heart disease, the findings have considerable health implications.

Details here:

High-fat diets make us stupid and unfit

New research shows that high-fat diets are just as unhealthful in the short term as they are in the long term: an immediate decreased ability to exercise and significant short-term memory loss.

Details here:

Mediterranean Diet = Slower Cognitive Decline

Higher adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet is linked to lower risk for mortality and chronic diseases. In an examination of the association between adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet and cognitive performance and risk of dementia, researchers found that high adherence to the diet was associated with slower decline in some measures of cognitive function.

Details here:

Mediterranean diet, exercise fight Alzheimer disease

Elderly individuals who had a diet that included higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereal and fish and was low in red meat and poultry and who were physically active had an associated lower risk of Alzheimer disease

Details here:

A summary of earlier, but still relatively recent food research can be found here:

Meanwhile, from the last two weeks:

Healthy lifestyle = reduced risk of chronic disease

Four healthy lifestyle factors—never smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and following a healthy diet—together appear to be associated with as much as an 80 percent reduction in the risk of developing the most common and deadly chronic diseases.

Details here:


Physical inactivity poses greatest health risk

And something else to worry about:

Stress and Worry Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Optimism=lower women’s risk of death/heart disease

And two of my old favorites re-appear, aspirin:

Aspirin fights colorectal cancer

Numerous studies demonstrate that regular aspirin use is associated with a lower risk of colorectal adenoma (a benign tumor) or cancer. According to a study in the August 12 issue of J o u r n a l o f t h e A m e r i c a n Medical and women who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and began regular use of aspirin had a lower risk of overall and colorectal cancer death compared to patients not using aspirin.
Details here:

and red wine:

Drink Red Wine Daily For Best Results

Drinking Wine Protects Skin From Radiation

And lastly:
Danger in Herbal Supplements

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