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Period: March 15, 2015 to April 1, 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

New Diet Shown To Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease

U.S. researchers who tracked the eating habits of nearly a thousand people over ten years have used the data to develop a new diet that reduces the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND diet is a sort of mash-up of the Mediterranean and DASH (anti-hypertension) diets, but reduces Alzheimer’s risk significantly more than either one alone. To follow the diet you eat 10 "brain-healthy” food groups: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine; and avoid five unhealthy groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

"MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease. ", Alzheimer's & Dementia, March 30, 2015

“Traffic Light” Nutritional Labeling Leads To More Healthful Food Buying

German researchers have found that “traffic light” symbols – red, green, yellow – on food labels effectively help shoppers make healthful product choices. For the study, 35 adults (19 women) were shown 100 food products while lying in a brain scanner. Products showed nutritional information in familiar form (numbers, ingredients) or in traffic light format, with green signifying the lowest percentage of fat, salt or sugar. Participants indicated how much they would pay for each product. They were willing to pay significantly more money for the same product when the traffic light label was "green" compared to an information-based label. But if the label was "red," the willingness to pay dropped more compared to the conventional label.

"Nutrition labels influence value computation of food products in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. ", Obesity, March 23, 2015

Even With Normal Blood Pressure, Excess Salt Can Be Harmful

Too much salt in the bloodstream is not only bad for blood pressure, it can also damage several organs, a U.S. study finds. But this should also serve as a warning to so-called “salt resistant” people who consume a lot of salty snacks and convenience foods, but still have low blood pressure. Potential effects on the arteries include reduced function of the endothelium, the lining of vessels; on the heart, enlargement of the muscle tissue of the main pumping chamber; on the kidneys, reduced renal function; and on the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the fight-or-flight response.

"Dietary Sodium and Health. ", Journal of the American College of Cardiology, March 23, 2015

Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise Slow Cognitive Decline Among Seniors

Older people (age 60 to 77) at risk of dementia benefited significantly from a program of healthy eating and exercise, according to a randomized, controlled clinical trial. Half of the 1,260 participants in the two-year trial in Finland met regularly with physicians, nurses, and other health professionals to get advice on a healthy diet, and participate in exercise and brain training programs. They also managed metabolic and vascular risk factors through regular blood tests. Subsequent tests showed that, compared to the control group, cognitive decline slowed down considerably. Overall test scores in the intervention group were 25 percent higher than in the control group.

"A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trial. ", The Lancet, March 22, 2015

Serious Health Issues Arise When Vitamin D Is Too Low, Or Too High

A statistical study of the vitamin D levels and mortality rates of nearly 250,000 Danes confirms a correlation between earlier death and too low levels of vitamin D, but also finds a connection between too high levels and a greater risk of death by stroke or heart attack. The researchers found that a vitamin D level below 50 or over 100 nanomol per liter is associated with higher mortality rates. “We should use this information to ask ourselves whether or not we should continue to eat vitamins and nutritional supplements as if they were sweets,” the researchers said.

"A reverse J-shaped association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cardiovascular disease mortality – the CopD-study.", The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, March 22, 2015

Research, Studies, Advice  

Vegetarian Diet Lowers Risk Of Colorectal Cancer

An analysis of the dietary habits and cancer incidence of vegetarians shed light on a significant health advantage over the non-vegetarian diet. The evidence found among nearly 78,000 Seventh-Day Adventist men and women suggests that vegetarians are much less likely to get colorectal cancer. Previous studies have shown that the vegetarian diet potentially reduces the risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes and mortality. Compared with non-vegetarians, vegetarians had a 22 percent lower risk for all colorectal cancers, 19 percent lower risk for colon cancer and 29 percent lower risk for rectal cancer. The researchers suggested that these findings should be considered carefully in making dietary choices and in giving dietary guidance.

"Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancers. ", JAMA Internal Medicine, March 23, 2015

A Basic – Scientifically Proven – List Of Nutritious Seeds, Superfruits

A food writer who surveyed recent scientific studies found nine seeds and so-called “superfruits” that are packed with nutrients and minimally processed. At the top of her list are chia seeds, once smeared over novelty plant pottery, but now used in yogurt, baked goods, nutrition bars, etc. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phytonutrients and other good things. Also on the list: flax seeds (protein, antioxidants), sunflower seeds (protein, fiber), pumpkin seeds, blueberries, acai berries, tart cherries, avocados, and cranberries.

"The Rising Status of Superfruits and Super Seeds", Food Technology, March 22, 2015

Vegetarian Diet Lowers Risk for Some Cancers, Study Finds

The Wall Street Journal, March 09, 2015

Behind New Dietary Guidelines, Better Science

The New York Times, February 23, 2015


Snack Bar Makers Are Missing An Opportunity In The Heart-Healthy Market

Despite growing consumer demand for heart-healthy and convenient – “grab-and-go” – foods, like bars and snacks, few food manufacturers are developing such products. A recent article notes the tremendous opportunity awaiting snack and bar makers who have yet to take advantage of FDA-approved heart health claims for ingredients like soy protein, phytosterols, fiber, nuts and omega-3s. Marketers, of course, also need to pay attention to the taste of products – consumers won’t swap flavor for health -- but adding ingredients (e.g., high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, etc.) that may be perceived as unhealthy is risky. Still, the author of the article says, “not to be building bars that target heart health is the definition of a missed opportunity."

"Grab-and-Go Heart Health", Food Product Design, March 17, 2015

Physicians Castigate Harmful, Addictive “White Foods”

A growing number of physicians warn of the health dangers of white bread, pasta and other high-glycemic “white foods” like potatoes, rice and sugar. A neurosurgeon who specializes in treating back pain says he won’t eat bread or pasta because they are high on the glycemic index, are not whole foods, and are “tremendously delicious and addictive”. A child psychiatrist says bleaching flour removes the nutrients. “Best to eat fresh breads made from whole or sprouted grains,” says Dr. Rohit Chandra. And Dr. Michael Hirt, a board-certified nutritionist, says GMO standard wheat is particularly harmful, adding that, "If Americans gave up gluten and dairy, 75 percent of the world’s health problems would go away."

"Delicious but Addictive: Why Some Doctors Avoid Eating Bread", The Daily Meal, February 27, 2015

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