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Period: November 1, 2013 to November 15, 2013
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Some Vegetable Oils Do Not Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

Researchers who published a study on the content of vegetable oils urge the Canadian government to rethink its advice on the health benefits of corn oil and safflower oil. The two commonly used oils have been on a list of oils recommended because of purported cholesterol-lowering effects. But the researchers found that the two oils contain high levels of omega-6 linoleic acid, but almost no heart-healthy omega-3 α-linoleic acids. Labels on corn oil and sunflower oil products are allowed the claim: “a reduced risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels”. That claim is not warranted in the case of omega-6 linoleic acids, the researchers argue.

"Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids: Is a broad cholesterol-lowering health claim appropriate?", Canadian Medical Association Journal, November 11, 2013

Popular Food Bloggers Come Up Short On Nutritional Recipes

U.S. researchers who analyzed the recipe recommendations of several popular food blogs found that many of the recipes were acceptable in calories, but excessive in saturated fat and sodium. The researchers noted that the meal photos on the six blogs were probably more attractive than the actual nutritional content of the foods. Another downside is that food companies sponsor the sites, so the recipes are actually advertisements for company products. “The public should be aware of the nutritional limitations of popular food blogs,” the researchers concluded. They recommended that dietitians help bloggers modify blog recipes and partner with bloggers “to improve the nutritional profile of recipes”.

"Do Food Blogs Serve as a Source of Nutritionally Balanced Recipes? An Analysis of 6 Popular Food Blogs", Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, November 07, 2013

Study Sheds Light On Effective Strategies For Keeping Weight Off After Successful Dieting

Dieters who have successfully lost weight can prevent the return of unwanted pounds by using anti-obesity drugs, meal replacements or a high-protein diet, according to new Swedish research. Scientists combined the data from 20 clinical studies involving more than 3,000 participants, who were either obese or overweight prior to dieting. The studies analyzed the impact of drugs, meal replacements, high protein diets, dietary supplements and exercise on rebound weight gain after completing low-calorie diets (less than 1,000 calories a day). Researchers found that anti-obesity drugs were effective but risky. In fact, the most effective drugs were are no longer on the market. However, “Meal replacement products and high protein diets are effective and available to everyone," they concluded.

"Effects of anti-obesity drugs, diet, and exercise on weight-loss maintenance after a very-low-calorie diet or low-calorie diet: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 31, 2013

“Health By Stealth” Strategy Could Lead To Nutritious Pizzas

Most of today’s commercially available – either the frozen grocery store or fresh-baked  pizza restaurant varieties – can be considered junk food, primarily because of excess salt and saturated fat. But the basic recipe for pizza – bread, tomatoes, and a little cheese – is essentially healthy. British researchers says pizzas, and other “nutritionally dubious foods”, can be restored to healthy status by reformulating without ruining the taste. The researchers did a little experimenting, and came up with a recipe using less salt; whole wheat flour; a little Scottish seaweed for flavor, vitamin B12 and fiber, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and iodine; and red peppers for vitamin C. Both children and adult taste testers “gave it the thumbs-up for taste and attractiveness”.

"Development of a nutritionally balanced pizza as a functional meal designed to meet published dietary guidelines", Public Health Nutrition, October 31, 2013

Omega-3 Intake: Too Much Of A Good Thing Can Be Bad For Health

Researchers have been touting the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for years. But a new U.S. study finds that there can be too much of a good thing. In an earlier study, mice fed large amounts of dietary omega-3s showed an increased risk of colitis and immune alteration. A new review of recent scientific literature has found that excess omega-3 fatty acids in the diet alters immune function sometimes in ways that lead to a dysfunctional immune response to viral or bacterial infections. The researchers urge people to eat omega-3-rich fish a couple of times a week. But those at risk for coronary artery disease should consult their doctors before taking supplements.

"Long chain omega-3 fatty acid immunomodulation and the potential for adverse health outcomes", Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, October 28, 2013

“Hungry Girl” Enlisted By Potato Board To Change The Spud’s Image As A Fattening Food

Lisa Lillien, known to America’s weight-conscious masses as “Hungry Girl”, has partnered with the U.S. Potato Board to change the image of the humble spud as a dieter’s worst food nightmare. Lillien has an audience of millions who either get her email newsletter, routinely visit her Web site, or watch her TV show on the Food Network or the Cooking Channel. Her message is that food should be tasty and nutritious, but low in calories. That message dovetails neatly with the USPB's new ad campaign, “Guilt-Free Potato Goodness,” battling the “myth that potatoes are fattening”. Potato-lover Lillien has a track record of reaching USPB’s target audience: women 25 to 54 with kids under 18 at home.

"U.S. Potato Board Partners With Hungry Girl", MediaPost , October 28, 2013

U.K. Food Companies Promise To Cut Megatons Of Sat-Fats From Products

The British government has wheedled new pledges out of food manufacturers and supermarkets to cut the saturated fat content of their processed foods and snacks. This despite a recent study by a cardiologist published in the British Medical Journal advising that the real problem in the rise of diabetes and heart disease is not saturated fat but excess sugar. Supermarket chain Tesco promised to remove 32 tons of fat from breadsticks and other products; Morrisons will reformulate its spreads to remove 50 tons of sat-fats; Sainsbury's will continue an ongoing program to cut sat-fats; Kraft snack unit Mondelez will reformulate belVita, Oreos and Barny cookies; and Nestlé pledged to extract 3,800 tons of sat-fats from KitKat bars.

"Saturated fat to be cut in chocolate products, makers pledge", The Guardian, October 26, 2013

Swedish Government Is Convinced: An Atkins-Type Diet Is Healthier

A meta-review of relevant clinical studies has prompted the Swedish government to recommend a lower-carb, higher-fat, and higher-protein diet – basically the Atkins approach to healthy eating. The study found that a carbohydrate-managed approach is more effective for long-term weight loss and maintenance than a conventional low-fat diet. It also showed that low-carbohydrate diets were both beneficial and safe for the highly-insulin resistant, carbohydrate-intolerant population, who need to keep carbohydrate consumption low over the long-term. The Atkins Diet offers a balanced plan that comprises lean protein, good carbs from fruits and vegetables, and a balance of healthy fats.

"Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials", Atkins, October 23, 2013

Research, Studies, Advice  

Celiac Disease Is Not The Only Allergy Associated With Wheat Consumption

Not all allergic reactions to wheat are caused by celiac disease, according to Italian researchers who studied data on 276 patients diagnosed with a unique disorder known as non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS). In a double-blind, placebo-controlled wheat challenge, the researchers found that NCWS patients may be suffering from a non-lgE mediated food allergy, like celiac disease, that primarily affects the innermost layer of the GI tract. Symptoms are delayed, making it difficult to diagnose. NCWS symptoms involve the gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system, the skin and other organs. Symptoms disappear when wheat is excluded from the diet, and come back when  wheat consumption resumes.

"Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity as an Allergic Condition: Personal Experience and Narrative Review", The American Journal of Gastroenterology, November 05, 2013

Doctors Weigh In On Whether Sugar Consumption Contributes To Spread Of Cancer

Physicians at a Texas cancer center have issued a statement addressing some common misconceptions about how cancer spreads. One of the most common, and most fallacious, of these myths, is that eating sugar feeds the spread of malignant tumors. It doesn’t, the researchers said. Consuming sugar from natural sources – like fruits and vegetables – absolutely does no harm, and is in fact necessary for good health. But excess sugar in the diet, especially from processed foods, contributes to obesity and an increased risk of cancer. The doctors advised people to avoid processed sugars found in cakes, baked goods and desserts, and instead eat fruits that help “maintain a healthy weight and prevent health issues”.

"Debunking Myths About How Cancer Spreads", News release, Houston Methodist Cancer Center, November 02, 2013

High Caloric Diet – Not Just Sugar Intake – Associated With Fatty Liver Disease

The serious liver condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD) is not associated with intake of sugar, according to a British study, but rather with a high caloric intake, no matter the source. Researchers said recommending a low-fructose or low-glycemic diet to prevent NFLD is therefore not justified. Instead, they found that a high-calorie diet, no matter the source of the calories, itself is more associated with the disease, and that a healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to prevent, and deal with, NFLD. “Our study serves as a warning that even short changes in lifestyle can have profound impacts on your liver," the researchers concluded.

"No Difference Between High-Fructose and High-Glucose Diets on Liver Triacylglycerol or Biochemistry in Healthy Overweight Men", Gastroenterology, November 01, 2013

Diet Someday May Be Used To Configure Gut Microbiota Toward Improving Human Health

Irish researchers report that the study of the human microbiota – trillions of beneficial bacteria in the gut belonging to a  thousand species – could transform scientific thinking about basic human nutrition, gut health and disease prevention: This has come about because of developments in DNA sequencing technology that have made possible closer analyses of complex microbial communities in the human digestive tract. Data from recent studies have shown that diet can program the gut microbiota and affect health status. Someday the  food industry might be able to design food ingredients and supplements that shape gut microbiota, improving consumer health.

"Our Gut Microbiota and How It Can Be Programmed by Food", News release, Teagasc, November 01, 2013

European Diet Found To Be Deficient In Certain Vitamins And Minerals

A European study comparing recent data from dietary surveys conducted in eight countries has found that the European diet lacks 17 basic micronutrients. Conducted by the International Life Sciences Institute, the study found that vitamin D was the most severe deficiency, but diets also were low in iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 and folic acid. The researchers said that except in the case of vitamin D, low levels of vitamins do not pose a public health risk generally, but may in the case of specific age groups.

"Mapping low intake of micronutrients across Europe", British Journal of Nutrition, October 31, 2013

Excess omega-3 fatty acids could lead to negative health effects

Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences:, October 28, 2013

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