Fried and processed food, particularly fast-food, 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.
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.
Asparagus Good For Hangovers, Livers
The amino acids and minerals found in asparagus extract may alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins.
A new University of Illinois study shows that tomatoes and broccoli--two vegetables known for their cancer-fighting qualities--are better at shrinking prostate tumors when both are part of the daily diet than when they're eaten alone.
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.
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.
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
Mediterranean diet = reduced risk of depression
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.
A summary of earlier, but still relatively recent food research can be found here.
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 Journal of the American Medical Association..men 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.
Green tea may help improve bone health:
Tea Heart Benefits
“Drinking more than six cups of tea per day was associated with a 36 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to those who drank less than one cup of tea per day. Drinking three to six cups of tea per day was associated with a 45 percent reduced risk of death from heart disease, compared to consumption of less than one cup per day."
Red wine and green tea halt prostate cancer growth
Studies have shown that zinc is essential to protecting against oxidative stress and helping DNA repair – meaning that in the face of zinc deficiency, the body's ability to repair genetic damage may be decreasing even as the amount of damage is going up.
One new study has found DNA damage in humans caused by only minor zinc deficiency.
More info on zinc, from the U.S. government: