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Period: February 15, 2015 to March 15, 2015
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

Big Breakfast, Small Dinner Benefit Type 2 Diabetics

Researchers in Sweden and Israel show that type 2 diabetics can better control their blood sugar levels by timing their intake of calories. The study was conducted among eight men and 10 women between 30 and 70 years with type 2 diabetes and a normal to high body mass index. Some were being treated with the antidiabetic drug metformin. The study found that a calorie-loaded breakfast and a low-calorie dinner were associated with a significantly lower overall post-meal glucose level over the entire day. The researchers said the pattern may help achieve optimal metabolic control and “may have the potential for being preventive for cardiovascular and other complications of type 2 diabetes”.

"High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner decreases overall daily hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomised clinical trial. ", Diabetologia, March 07, 2015

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk By Nearly Half

A 10-year study conducted in Greece found a strong connection between heart health and the Mediterranean diet, which limits unhealthy fats and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and olive oil. Adults who closely followed the diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease. In fact, the diet was more protective than physical activity, researchers found. They also said the diet has indirect benefits in managing diabetes, hypertension and inflammation.

"Adherence to Mediterranean is the Most Important Protector Against the Development of Fatal and Non-Fatal Cardiovascular Event: 10-Year Follow-up (2002-12) Of the Attica Study", Study presented at the American College of Cardiology's scientific session, March 04, 2015

Athletes Benefit From Nitrate Supplements That Boost Blood Flow

Athletes and fitness fanatics have been taking nitrate supplements for years to increase endurance by improving oxygen use by muscles. A new British study in rats shows that nitrates decrease the viscosity of blood, boosting blood flow, while ensuring proper oxygen delivery. Researchers found that the effects were due to a complex balancing act involving the liver and kidneys, oxygen, hemoglobin in the blood and the hormone erythropoietin. The findings may lead to development of therapeutics for dietary intervention in dangerous blood volume diseases like polycythemia and other conditions that warrant a reduction in red cell mass and improvement in blood flow.

"Suppression of erythropoiesis by dietary nitrate. ", The FASEB Journal, March 02, 2015

Bread Making Technique – Not Ingredients – May Be At Root Of Health Issues

Though humans have been grinding wheat into flour and baking bread for thousands of years, there’s suddenly a widespread belief that bread – made from today’s high-tech flours -- is the source of all our health problems. But Washington State University wheat breeder Stephen Jones says it’s not the wheat itself that’s causing the problems. It’s how we make bread these days. For one thing, commercial bakeries actually add extra gluten to whole wheat bread dough to increase the elasticity. In addition, industrial dough rising time amounts to mere minutes (thanks to fast-acting yeasts and additives), instead of the hours or even days it should take. In his laboratory, he lets dough rise for as long as 12 hours, resulting in a less potent gluten. One caveat: Jones’s theory, while plausible, has not yet been scientifically proven.

"The Real Problem With Bread (It's Probably Not Gluten): One wheat scientist has a compelling theory. ", Mother Jones, February 18, 2015

Calorie-Free Sweetening Compound Eludes Commercial Development

A compound produced by a “miracle berry” native to West Africa may provide the solution to an age-old puzzle. Is it possible to create a dessert that contains no sugar or artificial flavors but tastes as sweet as the real thing? Miraculin could provide the answer, though it may be years before a commercial product is developed. It works by distorting the taste receptors on the tongue, making them super-sensitive to sweet signals from even sour foods. High-end restaurant patrons have experienced the sensation by eating the berries before consuming other foods, a fairly inconvenient process. But chef Homaru Cantu is working on a way to integrate the berry powder into foods by creating a heat- and refrigeration-stable version. So far, the goal is elusive.

"This miracle berry could replace sugar", The Atlantic, February 08, 2015

Products & Brands  

Green Banana Flour: A More Healthful Substitute For Wheat?

It's a little more expensive than wheat flour, but green banana flour might be a more healthful ingredient for baking bread and cakes. Banana flour is made from unripened fruit and does not taste like ripe bananas. But it contains resistant starch that behaves like fiber, helping to control sugar levels and prolong satiety. As a starch that is not absorbable, it contains fewer calories, though it is rich in potassium and magnesium, both healthful minerals. British company Nutryttiva sources green bananas from Brazil, and so far its flour is selling well. “We only started selling it last month, but so far sales are doubling each week,” a representative says. The company notes that green banana flour costs more than wheat flour, but about 25 percent less is used in baking.

"The latest wonder food: More and more crave banana flour as a way of curbing the carbs because it helps you feel fuller for longer ", Daily Mail, February 21, 2015

Sluggish Sales Of “Diet” Foods Prompt Repositioning Of Major Brands

Big food companies are trying to adjust quickly to a trend in U.S. consumer eating preferences that is having a negative impact on sales. Americans apparently care more about simple, natural ingredients, gluten-free products, protein and ethnic flavors -- and less about calories. Nestlé, for example, is dealing with this new reality by repositioning its Lean Cuisine frozen dinners as a ”healthy eating and healthy lifestyles” brand, rather than a diet food. The company is also introducing new ethnic flavors such as Sweet & Spicy Korean-Style Beef. Kellogg is deemphasizing weight loss in its Special K snack bar line to focus more on healthy ingredients, even if they are calorie-packed.

"Food companies aim to reinvent diet foods to stay relevant", Reuters, February 20, 2015

Research, Studies, Advice  

Nurture More Important Than Nature When It Comes To Obesity

Though some research has shown that mom's unhealthful diet in pregnancy may preordain a child’s poor diet and health issues, a new study in mice suggests other factors play a bigger role. Having too many food choices, the U.S. researchers found, increases the obesity problem. For the study, two sets of mothers were fed a high-fat diet or a low-fat diet. The offspring then ate a high-fat diet, low-fat diet, or a choice of foods. The offspring that had a choice experienced an increase in body weight, body fat, and glucose levels. The researchers said their findings suggest the possibility that a human's natural environment can affect food choices, and ultimately a person's weight, much more than their mother’s diet during pregnancy.

"Mitigating or Exacerbating Effects of Maternal-Fetal Programming of Female Mice Through the Food Choice Environment. ", Endocrinology, March 07, 2015

Intermittent Fasting Is Beneficial, Except When Antioxidants Are Consumed

Fasting has been shown in animal studies to extend lifespan and thwart diseases related to aging. Now U.S. researchers have shown that a feast-or-famine – or intermittent fasting – diet pattern offers some of the same benefits of long-term fasting for people, though the benefits may be lost in the presence of antioxidants. Intermittent fasting causes oxidative stress, which activates a protein called SIRT3 that, when increased in mice, extends lifespan. In a small clinical study, SIRT3 was indeed activated by intermittent fasting, but the benefits vanished when high levels of antioxidants were added to the diet. This reinforces research that has shown that flooding the system with supplemental antioxidants neutralizes the benefits of fasting or exercise.

"Practicality of Intermittent Fasting in Humans and its Effect on Oxidative Stress and Genes Related to Aging and Metabolism. ", Rejuvenation Research, March 07, 2015

Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease Should Avoid A High-Acid Meaty Diet

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients who eat more meat than fruits or vegetables are at much higher risk of kidney failure than patients who eat less meat, according to a long-term study of 1,486 CKD adults. Meats increase the dietary acid load on kidneys, which can be debilitating. Patients who consumed high acid diets were three times more likely to develop kidney failure than patients who consumed low acid diets. The researchers recommended that CKD patients reduce their intake of meats and increase intake of fruits and vegetables, which are low-acid foods.

"High Dietary Acid Load Predicts ESRD among Adults with CKD. ", Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, February 27, 2015

Should Athletes Eat Fat or Carbs?

The New York Times, February 25, 2015

The Skinny Carb

The Atlantic, February 23, 2015

Diet Experts Push More Plants, Less Meat in Nod to Environment

The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2015

Diet high in red meat may make kidney disease worse

Texas A&M Health Science Center, February 19, 2015

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