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Europe’s Soft Drink Makers To Lower Sugar Content Another Ten Percent

February 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to evolving consumer preferences regarding sugar consumption, European soft drink manufacturers have agreed to cut sugar levels another ten percent within three years. The decision is also a response to pressure from Member States and the European Commission for coordinated product reformulation. UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, which represents European makers of nonalcoholic drinks such as carbonates, fruit-based beverages and dilutables, announced the decision. UNESDA members say they will try various approaches to achieving the goal, including innovation, reformulation, using smaller pack sizes and encouraging consumers to choose low- and no-calorie drinks. UNESDA represents 80 percent of the European soft drinks industry by value. [ Image credit: © Orangina  ]
Robin Wyers, "European Soft Drinks Sector Commits to Reduce Added Sugars by a Further 10%", Food Ingredients 1st, February 07, 2017, © CNS Media BV
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Foods Rich In Resistant Starch Offer Several Health Benefits

February 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Resistant starch, found in bananas, potatoes, grains, and legumes, is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a form of dietary fiber. Over the last decade, resistant starch has been the subject of numerous studies showing it has a significant impact on post-meal blood sugar metabolism, satiety, and intestinal health. This new comprehensive review of these studies summarizes the effects of resistant starch consumption and looks at potential mechanisms of action that underpin them. One possible conclusion is that resistant starch foods may be particularly useful for managing diabetes. However, the British researchers found no evidence of an impact on other metabolic markers, such as blood pressure and blood lipids.  [ Peruvian potatoes, image credit: © Wikipedia ]
S. Lockyer et al., "Health effects of resistant starch. ", Nutrition Bulletin, February 07, 2017, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Clean Label Frozen Treats May Lead To Sales Growth

February 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The food industry has gotten the message from consumers that sugary, nutrition-free and calorie-packed ice cream is no longer acceptable They are now making healthier, “yet still decadent,” frozen treats, says researcher Packaged Facts. Today there are a growing number of ice creams and frozen desserts that eschew soy, gluten, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and genetically modified ingredients, not to mention much less fat and sugar. Some of the new products are organic. Consumers are apparently pleased with the results. Ice cream and other frozen treats are a mature market – 85 percent of households buy ice cream routinely. Sales have been steady in recent years. But Packaged Facts says the new attention being paid to clean label frozen desserts could spark a revival of sales growth.  [ Organic ice cream brand, image credit: © theimpulsivebuy ]
""Free From" Ice Cream Trending in $28 Billion Market", News release, Packaged Facts, February 06, 2017, © Packaged Facts
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Government Food Consumption Report Shows Shifting Patterns Since The ‘70s

February 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new USDA report based on U.S. food availability data (adjusted for food loss) shows that Americans are eating more of the major food groups today than in the 1970s. But within that broad conclusion are some interesting shifts and new patterns. The avocado supply, for example, is up by a whopping 1,342 percent and the lime supply is up 1,654 percent. How about a margarita with your guacamole? Mango consumption is up 3,200 percent, but grapefruit, oranges, peaches, and plums are down. (Apples, melons, and bananas are constant.) Broccoli and mushrooms are way up, though potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce are constant. Lastly, people are eating more fat, but less animal fat (lard and butter). Salad and cooking oils like canola and olive are up 248 percent. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia ]
Julia Belluz, "Americans are Eating Way More Fat. But it’s Not Butter.", Vox Media, February 02, 2017, © Vox Media, Inc.
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Saving Time Is Not The Only Reason Parents Buy Frozen Meals

February 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Prepackaged, processed frozen meals are popular among parents, despite the fact that they are high in calories, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. A U.S. study has found that the main reason for their popularity is that they save time for busy moms and dads: 57 percent indicated that in a survey. But that wasn’t the only reason. Forty-nine percent of parents surveyed said they bought the frozen meals because their families liked them. One-third chose them because children could help prepare them, and 27 percent liked the cost savings. The findings, however, raise some concerns among nutritionists. Cooking frozen packaged meals means choosing fewer fruits and vegetables and fewer nutritious foods generally. It also means people are not developing cooking and meal-planning skills.  [ Image credit: © Feike Kloostra ]
Melissa L. Horning et al., "Reasons Parents Buy Prepackaged, Processed Meals: It Is More Complicated Than “I Don't Have Time”. ", Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, February 02, 2017, © Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior
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Fans Of Black Coffee Save A Lot Of Calories, Study Finds

January 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
About half of America’s 325 million people drink coffee or tea regularly, and many of them add sugar, cream, syrups or other caffeine-rich additives. A new U.S. study that analyzed 12 years of data from a national health and nutrition survey found that about two-thirds of the coffee drinkers and one-third of the tea drinkers put sugar, cream, flavorings or other calorie-rich additives in their drinks. The sample included 13,185 adults who reported drinking coffee and 6,215 adults who reported drinking tea in the 24 hours prior to being surveyed. People who drink black coffee consume an average of about 69 fewer total calories a day than those who add sweeteners, cream or other substances to their coffee. More than 60 percent of those calories come from sugar, the rest from fat. Tea drinkers tend to add fewer calorie-dense substances to their beverages.  [ Image credit: © http://www.pixelpusher.co.za   ]
R. An, Y. Shi, "Consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins in relation to daily energy, sugar, and fat intake in US adults, 2001–2012. ", Public Health, January 30, 2017, © The Royal Society for Public Health, Elsevier Inc.
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Fructose Seems To Be The Sweetener That Increases Health Risks

January 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Glucose may deliver more calories than fructose, but fructose contributes more to weight gain and other health problems, according to a study in lab animals by Spanish scientists.Animals that were fed fructose in addition to their regular diet showed more markers of vascular disease and liver damage than the glucose group (and the control group). These markers included high triglycerides, increased liver weight, decreased fat burning in the liver (contributing to fatty liver disease) and impaired relaxation of the aorta, which affects blood pressure. The findings suggest that increased calories from sweeteners isn’t the only factor in long-term health risks. The type of sweetener may be more important in increasing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.  [ Image credit: © Fritzs  ]
Gemma Sangüesa et al., "Type Of Supplemented Simple Sugar, Not Merely Calorie Intake, Determines Adverse Effects On Metabolism And Aortic Function In Female Rats. ", American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, January 19, 2017, © American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology
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Restaurants React To Demand For Gluten-Free Menus

January 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The demand for gluten-free foods continues to rise in the restaurant sector and, in fact, is spreading to segments like quick-service sandwich and other fast casual eateries. Demand is driven by the increase in the number of people diagnosed with gluten-related disorders. It is expected that gluten-free menu items among U.S. restaurants will double over the next three years to $24 billion, up from $1 billion in 2006 and $11.6 billion in 2015. Also of note: the gluten-free trend has spawned some interesting innovation, for example, the growth of rice and potato flour producers. Smart Flour Foods has used food history to find and produce food sources for gluten-free doughs sing ancient grains, such as teff.  [ Image credit: © Wikimedia Commons  ]
Shelly Whitehead, "Why Gluten-Free isn't a Dying Trend", Fast Casual, January 13, 2017, © Networld Media Group, LLC
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New Urine Test Accurately Profiles A Person’s Diet

January 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British scientists have developed a five-minute urine test that can determine accurately whether a person is eating a nutritious diet or junk food. The test measures hundreds of biomarkers known as metabolites that appear in urine when red meat, chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables are digested. It measures how much fat, sugar, fiber and protein a person has eaten. The test was applied to urine samples in 291 participants from a previous study and found to accurately predict diet. The scientists say that the test will help dieters – whose food diaries are often inaccurate – properly record intake of unhealthy food as well as fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that about 60 percent of people misreport what they eat to some extent.  [ Image credit: © Grook Da Oger  ]
Isabel Garcia-Perez et al., "Objective assessment of dietary patterns by use of metabolic phenotyping: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial.", The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, January 12, 2017, © Elsevier Limited
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Body’s “Natural Cannabis” System May Be Why Western Diet Leads To Obesity

January 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Scientists have long known it was mainly because their Western diet is rich in sugar and fat. Now new U.S. research shows that a Western diet leads to overeating and obesity because of elevated "peripheral endocannabinoid signaling." The endocannabinoid system – a sort of “natural cannabis” consisting of lipid signaling molecules called endocannabinoids – is found in the brain and all peripheral organs. It helps control food intake, energy balance, and reward. Endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors on body cells. The researchers believe that targeting cannabinoid receptors with pharmacological inhibitors could be a safe way to treat overeating and diet-induced obesity,  [ Image credit: © ebru  ]
Donovan A. Argueta, Nicholas V. DiPatrizio., "Peripheral endocannabinoid signaling controls hyperphagia in western diet-induced obesity. ", Physiology & Behavior, January 11, 2017, © Elsevier Inc.
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General Mills Runs First TV Ads In The U.K. For Snack Brand Fiber One

January 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Snack brand Fiber One has launched its first TV ad campaign in the U.K. The $1.2 million effort is scheduled to run for four weeks in January, considered the peak diet season. It is expected to reach seven million consumers. The television campaign will be supplemented with a sampling effort in Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s supermarkets that will put the product into the hands of at least 500,000 people. Fiber One snacks contain 90 calories, and are high in fiber and low in fat. [ Image credit: © 
Leia Taing, "Fibre One Launches its First TV Advertising Campaign", The Food & Drink Innovation, January 10, 2017, © Food & Drink Innovation
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Even Guys Are Getting Into Veganism

January 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and restaurant industry observers have noticed an upsurge in the number of men eating vegan. For example, the lunch crowd at a Philadelphia eatery that offers vegan alternatives to fast-foods like burgers and chicken sandwiches is mostly guys in suits. Male food bloggers, cookbook authors, and food personalities praise nutritional yeast and beet pepperoni, signaling some kind of culture shift. Lastly, the journal Appetite in 2015 published a study whose participants said they did not associate veganism with low levels of masculinity. Veganism is, in short, becoming a mainstream diet option for all. [ Raw vegan sushi; image credit: © Kari Sullivan ]
Elisa Ludwig, "Vegan eating: More men are going animal-free", The Inquirer (Philadelphia), January 04, 2017, © Philadelphia Media Network (Digital), LLC
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Look For A Revival Of French Cooking In 2017

January 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Culinary textbook author Priscilla Martel predicts that French cuisine will gain in popularity in 2017. Calling it the “new golden age of French food,” Martel sees especially a resurgence of French bread and classic French pastries. Look for American versions of patisserie, including well-crafted viennoiserie, the formal name for croissants, Danish and other pastries made with buttery flaky dough. [ Ham and cheese croissant, image credit: ©  Charles Haynes ]
Stephen Fries, "Stephen Fries: Predicting food trends for 2017, plus a recipe for congee", New Haven (Conn.) Register, January 03, 2017, © New Haven Register
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Consumer Magazine Assesses Current Food And Drink Trends

January 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and nutrition experts at Consumer Reports evaluated food trends and advised on which should become a part of a healthy diet and which can be ignored. A few dark chocolate chips, for example, added to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast once or twice a week could boost memory and concentration. But consumers should avoid calorie-packed chocolate cake, cookies, and brownies for breakfast. Jackfruit’s texture is similar to shredded meat. As a meat alternative, it is low in sugar but also very low in protein, And the ”pulled-pork” sandwiches made with jackfruit come with sugary sauces. The magazine looked at other food and beverage trends, including: plant waters (maple, artichoke, cactus, and cucumber); riced cauliflower; alternative pastas (chickpeas, lentils, other legumes); savory yogurts; fermented foods, “ugly produce;” purple foods; and power bowls. [ Image credit: ©  The Jackfruit Company ]
Trisha Calvo, "Eat This! The Healthiest Food Trends for 2017", Consumer Reports, January 01, 2017, © Consumer Reports
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Customers Of Vegan Bakery Don’t Care About The Missing Butter Or Eggs

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Vegan Treats Bakery in Bethlehem, Pa., attracts customers from hundreds, even thousands, of miles away. Owner Danielle Konya says she’s had visitors from Europe and Israel. She started baking vegan treats for herself at home in the late 1990s, and now employs 40 people in a 1,600-square foot shop. Instead of eggs, butter, and milk she uses potato starch, tapioca starch, silken tofu, and pureed fruit (e.g., applesauce or mashed pumpkin). Konya says the only thing that matters is the flavor of the treats she bakes. “No one takes a bite of the Chocolate Peppermint Dream cookies and asks where the butter is.” [ Image credit: © Vegan Treats Bakery ]
Kristen Hartke, "The Secrets of a Vegan Bakery that Entices Customers to Drive Across the State", The Washington Post, December 05, 2016, © The Washington Post
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Restricting Eating To Early In The Day Has Significant Metabolic Benefits

November 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study that followed eleven overweight men and women over four days of eating the same number of calories, but only between 8 am and 2 pm, found some significant benefits. Eating earlier in the day followed by 18 hours of fasting resulted in reduced daily hunger swings and increased fat burning during several hours at night. It also improved metabolic flexibility, which is the body's ability to switch between burning carbs and fats. The researchers said more research on early-time restricted feeding in humans is needed to create a more complete picture of whether it can help prevent and treat obesity.
Courtney Peterson et al., "Skip Dinner and Maybe Boost Your Metabolism", HealthDay (WebMD), November 10, 2016, © Peterson et al.
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Daily Consumption Of Sugary Drinks Puts People At Great Risk Of Diabetes

November 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A 14-year U.S. study involving 1,685 middle-age adults found that those who regularly drank at least one can of sugary soda a day were 46 percent more likely to develop symptoms of prediabetes, including insulin resistance. Sugary beverages included colas and other carbonates, and non-carbonated fruit drinks (but not fruit juice) such as lemonade and fruit punch. The researchers said the risk of diabetes could be lowered substantially by a simple lifestyle change: replace sugary beverages with water or unsweetened coffee or tea.
Jintao Ma et al. , "Sugar-Sweetened Beverage but Not Diet Soda Consumption Is Positively Associated with Progression of Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes. ", Journal of Nutrition, November 10, 2016, © American Society for Nutrition
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Compound Produced By Protein Digestion Controls Appetite

November 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Hormones play a key role in regulating appetite and hunger. Ghrelin, for example, tells us when we are hungry, and GLP-1 tells us when we are sated and can stop eating. New British research in mice and rats has now found that phenylalanine, an end-product of protein digestion, increases levels of GLP-1 while decreasing ghrelin. In the experiments, a single-dose of phenylalanine reduced food intake by modulating the two hormones, and repeated administration caused weight loss in obese mice and spurred rats to move around more, which could further help weight loss.
Mariana Norton and Amin Alamshah, "How high protein diets cause weight loss", News release, study presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference, November 10, 2016, © Norton & Alamshah
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Diet Rich In Fruit And Caffeine Reduces Risk Of Blindness-Causing Condition

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Portuguese researchers have demonstrated that following the Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on antioxidant-rich fruit cuts the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a debilitating eye condition that leads to blindness. The researchers also reported that caffeine seems to be especially protective against AMD. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and healthy fats and fish. Studies have shown the diet improves heart health and reduces cancer risk. The researchers followed 883 people age 55 or older, 449 of whom had AMD in its early stages before vision loss. They found that those who stuck closely to the Mediterranean diet – especially consuming more fruit and caffeine – had a 35 percent lower risk of AMD.
Rufino Silva et al., "Fruit-rich Mediterranean diet with antioxidants may cut age-related macular degeneration risk by more than a third", News release, study presented at annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, October 26, 2016, © Silva et al.
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Dairy Proteins Decrease Risk Factors For Heart Disease

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers have determined in a clinical trial that whey protein supplements may have significant health benefits for regular people, not just bodybuilders. Participants in the study with mild hypertension drank two protein shakes a day for eight weeks. They decreased their risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as eight percent. They had lower blood pressure and cholesterol and healthier blood vessels. The study is good news for people who not only take whey protein supplements, but who eat or drink dairy foods rich in protein.
Ảgnes A. Fekete et al., "Whey Protein Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Endothelial Function and Lipid Biomarkers in Adults with Prehypertension and Mild Hypertension: Results from the Chronic Whey2Go Randomized Controlled Trial", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 26, 2016, © Fekete et al.
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Type 2 Diabetics Lose Weight After Switching From Diet Soda To Water

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A study involving obese women with type 2 diabetes found that those who substituted water for diet beverages after lunch for six months lost more weight than those who stuck to diet drinks. The 81 overweight and obese women were divided into two groups, one of which continued to drink diet beverages. The women who substituted water for diet soda lost 6.40 kg (compared to 5.25 kg) and experienced a greater decrease in BMI (2.49 kg/m2 compared to 2.06 kgm2). Other benefits from drinking water: greater improvements in fasting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
Ameneh Madjd et al., "Beneficial effects of replacing diet beverages with water on type 2 diabetic obese women following a hypo-energetic diet: A randomized, 24-week clinical trial. ", Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, October 26, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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New Company Offers Personalized Nutrition Plans

October 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An entrepreneur who was warned by a doctor that he was in dangerously poor health is launching a company that will help customers get back on track with a personalized nutrition plan. The $299 plan includes a blood test – you have to draw your own blood at home and mail it in – then analysis of 60 biomarkers, including amino acids, vitamin levels, blood sugar, and some genetic variants. The genetic information suggests how you may respond to diet. A metabolic rate "challenge" involves drinking a special milkshake and sending in more blood to determine response to fats, carbs and sugars. Lastly, the company provides a 30-minute consultation with a registered dietitian who offers nutrition advice (but not disease diagnosis).
Christina Farr, "This Startup Sells You Meal Plans Based On Your Nutrition Type", Fast Company, October 25, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Significant Reduction In Heart Disease Risk When Switching To Polyunsaturated Fats

October 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Substituting commonly used foods containing saturated fats with foods containing polyunsaturated fats significantly reduces cholesterol levels and heart disease risk after only two months, according to a Norwegian study. The clinical trial involved 115 people who had moderately high cholesterol levels who were randomly assigned to either a polyunsaturated fat diet group or a high-saturated fat group. For the polyunsaturated diet group, common foods such as spread for bread, cooking fats, cheese, bread and cereals contained only polyunsaturated fats. After eight weeks, total cholesterol dropped in this group by nine percent, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol dropped 11 percent. These changes correspond to a 27 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Stine M. Ulven et al., "Exchanging a few commercial, regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial. ", British Journal of Nutrition, October 24, 2016, © Ulven et al.
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Supplement Makers Enter New Era Of Transparency, Nutritionally-Rich Ingredients

October 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers increasingly demand not only greater effectiveness from dietary supplements but also greater transparency. Supplement makers, in turn, are benefiting from advances in nutrition science and recent botanical discoveries that make it easier to respond to those demands. Innovations affecting the industry include, for example, whole-food supplements and green powders that support health and wellness, enhance energy or promise vitality. In terms of bioavailability of nutrients, new liposome (fat) “bubbles” make it easy to deliver high levels of nutrients while bypassing destructive gastric juices and liver enzymes. Lastly, forward-thinking supplement makers are paying greater attention to transparency: origin of ingredients, nutrients within them, non-nutritive fillers, and even the brand’s business practices.
Todd Runestad, "Supplement Trendspotting", New Hope Network, October 24, 2016, © Penton
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Gluten-Free Market Is Booming, For No Good Reason

October 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. sales of gluten-free foods hit $1.57 billion, in 2015, an increase of 11 percent from 2014. That’s a slower increase than the 81 percent in 2013, but still beats overall grocery sales growth of three percent. The explosion of gluten-free products is a “blessing” for celiac disease sufferers. The odd fact, however, is that only one percent of the U.S. population actually suffers from gluten intolerance. Surveys have found that the rest buy gluten-free foods because they believe they are “generally healthier” or will help them lose weight. About 25 percent of consumers think "gluten-free is good for everyone." Health professionals, however, say this is a misconception, and that those without a diagnosis of gluten intolerance don't need to avoid gluten.
Deena Shanker, "You Can Eat Gluten Again, America", Bloomberg, October 14, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Nestle’s New Beverage Helps IBS Sufferers Follow Low-FODMAP Diet

October 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Health Science has introduced a nutritional beverage targeting people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders. ProNourish contains no fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides or polyols (FODMAPs), which are specific types of short-chain carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine, resulting in severe abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea and excess gas in some people. ProNourish drinks contain six grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein, 3 grams of low-FODMAP fiber, 25 vitamins and minerals, and 170 calories. The company says its product is also suitable for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, and lactose intolerance; but not galactosemia.
"Nestlé Health Science Unveils Pronourish™ Low Fodmap Nutritional Drink (USA)", News release, Nestlé, October 04, 2016, © Nestlé Health Science
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Ancient Grains Significantly Reduce Risk Factors For Heart Disease

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ancient grains have a major advantage over modern grain varieties: because they are not heavily refined, they retain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and contain more vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron and potassium. Confirming these benefits is an Italian study that proves breads made with ancient grains significantly reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The randomized crossover trial involved 45 healthy adults (average age 50) who ate breads made from conventional flour and ancient grains in three separate 8-week sessions. Researchers found that ancient grains breads significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as levels of blood glucose.
Alice Sereni et al., "Cardiovascular benefits from ancient grain bread consumption: findings from a double-blinded randomized crossover intervention trial. International ", Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, October 02, 2016, © Sereni et al.
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Genetic Makeup Can’t Be Blamed For Excess Weight Retention

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The carriers of a certain gene associated with an increased risk of obesity do not have a harder time losing their excess weight through diet and exercise, according to a new British study. Carriers of the FTO gene tend to be on average of seven pounds heavier than their peers, and are 70 percent more likely to be obese. However, the researchers found in a review of eight studies involving more than 9,500 people that the gene did not prevent carriers from losing weight if they improved their diet and were more physically active. Said one of the researchers: "You can no longer blame your genes” for retention of excess pounds.
Katherine M Livingstone et al., "FTO genotype and weight loss: systematic review and meta-analysis of 9563 individual participant data from eight randomized controlled trials. ", BMJ, October 02, 2016, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
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New Weight Loss Training Technique Shows Significantly Better Results

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A study by U.S. researchers as found that treating obesity through improved diet and greater exercise could be more effective if supplemented with an approach called
Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment (ABT). The approach trains people to create weight loss goals that link to personal values, like living a long and healthy life; helps dieters accept that losing weight involves discomfort and reduced pleasure (e.g., taking a walk instead of watching TV); and, lastly, teaches people about the “cues” in life that affect eating and exercising. Participants who received ABT along with standard behavioral training (SBT) lost 13.3 percent of their weight at one year, compared to 9.8 percent weight loss among those who received SBT only.
Evan M. Forman et al., "Acceptance-based versus standard behavioral treatment for obesity: Results from the mind your health randomized controlled trial. ", Obesity, October 02, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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For A Healthier Diet, Eliminate Processed – Not Whole – Grains

September 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
People who try to eliminate all grains from their diet – many say it makes them feel better – are missing the point. Grains are in fact an excellent source of nutrients, but only when they are not highly processed. Whole grains retain B vitamins and fiber, minerals like selenium and copper, as well as carbohydrates and varying amounts of protein. Processed grains contain significantly lower amounts of these nutrients. Studies have shown that eating whole grains is associated with lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death from all causes. But diets high in refined grains seem to increase the risk of these health problems.
Jenna Flannigan, "Is a Grain-Free Diet Healthy?", Healthline, September 30, 2016, © Healthline Media
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Study Proves That Omega-3 Intake Can Cut Risk Of Diabetic Blindness By Nearly Half

September 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Older people with type 2 diabetes can reduce the risk of an eyesight-threatening condition known as diabetic retinopathy by eating a healthy diet and increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids, according to a study by Spanish scientists. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish like salmon and in nuts. The study gathered dietary data between 2003 and 2009 from 3,614 type 2 diabetics 55 to 80 years old. They were told to eat at least 500 mg of omega-3s a day, a target that can be achieved by consuming two meals of fatty fish a week. After six years of follow-up, it was found that the 2,611 participants who stuck to the omega-3 recommendation had cut their risk of diabetic retinopathy by 48 percent.
Emilio Ros et al. , "Dietary Marine ω-3 Fatty Acids and Incident Sight-Threatening Retinopathy in Middle-Aged and Older Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: Prospective Investigation From the PREDIMED Trial. ", JAMA Ophthalmol., September 11, 2016, © American Medical Association
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Some Cooking Methods Significantly Increase Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

September 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Obese people showing signs of insulin resistance that portends diabetes improved their condition simply by avoiding the byproducts of dry heat-cooked or heat-processed foods, a U.S. study has found. High levels of “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs) not only cause pre-diabetes by increasing insulin resistance, they lead to brain changes similar to Alzheimer’s disease. For the study, one obese group was allowed to eat foods cooked by high-AGE grilling, frying or baking. The second group was told to avoid those methods in favor of poaching, stewing, or steaming. At the end of the study, the low-AGE group showed significantly improved insulin resistance, slightly decreased body weight, and much lower AGE levels in the body.
Helen Vlassara et al., "Oral AGE restriction ameliorates insulin resistance in obese individuals with the metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.", Diabetologia, September 11, 2016, © Springer International Publishing
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Citrus Fruit Antioxidants Fend Off Obesity-Related Conditions

September 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Brazilian scientists predicted at a scientific meeting that someday the antioxidants known as citrus flavanones will be used to prevent or delay chronic obesity-related diseases. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes are particularly rich in these flavanones. Working with mice, the research team fed 50 animals with or without citrus flavanones (hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol) while feeding them a standard or high-fat diet. They found that a high-fat diet without flavanones significantly increased biomarkers of cell damage. However, mice fed citrus flavanones were healthier with lower oxidative stress, less liver damage, lower blood lipids and lower blood glucose.
Thais B. Cesar, "Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes", News release, study presented at an American Chemical Society meeting, September 11, 2016, © American Chemical Society
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Enzymes Found In Saliva May Someday Treat Gluten Intolerance

September 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have determined that a novel class of gluten-degrading enzymes found in saliva may have the potential to treat celiac disease, a severe allergic reaction to the protein found in wheat-based products. The enzymes were isolated from Rothia bacteria, which are natural colonizers of the oral cavity. The enzymes (subtilisins) belong to the S8 family of peptidases. Food-grade Bacillus species also produce such subtilisins, and these were also able to break down gluten compounds that cause the immune response. The main course of treatment for people with celiac disease is adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.
Guoxian Wei et al., "Identification of Food-grade Subtilisins as Gluten-degrading Enzymes to Treat Celiac Disease. ", American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, September 06, 2016, © American Physiological Society
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Gluten-Free Dieting Grows, But Incidence Of Celiac Disease Is Steady

September 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Six years of health survey data collected from more than 22,000 people shows that celiac disease remains a problem, but not a growing one, contrary to some reports. The proportion of people diagnosed with the disease, characterized by an allergic reaction to the gluten protein found in wheat-based products, has stayed the same. But U.S. researchers noted that the number of non-celiac people following a gluten-free diet has grown. The numbers gleaned from the sample were extrapolated to the general population: about 1.76 million Americans have celiac disease; 2.7 million non-celiacs follow a gluten-free diet. This may be due to public perception that gluten-free may be healthier; that gluten-free products are increasingly available; or that some people self-diagnose a gluten sensitivity.
Sushil K. Ahlawat et al. , "Time Trends in the Prevalence of Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Diet in the US Population: Results From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2009-2014.", JAMA Intern Med., September 06, 2016, © American Medical Association
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Paleo Diet May Help Protect People From Heart Disease

August 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A small U.S. study presented at a recent heart disease conference found that people who stuck to the Paleo diet of minimally processed foods for eight weeks showed signs of improvement in heart health. The eight participants in the study – there was no control group – experienced a 35 percent increase in levels of interlukin-10 (IL-10), a signaling molecule secreted by immune cells. Low levels of IL-10 predict increased heart attack risk in people who also have high levels of inflammation. High IL-10 levels may counteract inflammation, providing a protective effect for blood vessels. The increase in IL-10 could suggest a lower risk for cardiovascular disease after following the Paleo diet.
Charlotte Libov , "Could the Paleo Diet Benefit Heart Health? ", Newsmax Health, August 29, 2016, © Newsmax Health
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India’s Food Safety Regulator Announces Initiatives To Promote Safe Food

August 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has unveiled a set of initiatives to promote safe food in a variety of venues. The ten initiatives, launched on the anniversary of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, will target homes, schools, offices, trains and railway stations, restaurants and religious facilities. FSSAI, for example, will provide a comprehensive guide to households and create a dedicated website for safe and nutritious food at home. It will  prepare a list of high fat, sugary and salty junk foods to ensure food safety and nutrition in schools. And it will require businesses that provide mid-day meals to be licensed by the FSSAI.
"FSSAI Announces Initiatives to Promote Safe Food Culture", The Economic Times, August 23, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Entrepreneurs To Introduce Vegan Cheese And Yogurt Made From Dairy Yeast

August 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A start-up company that acknowledges the often unacceptable vegan substitutes for milk, cheese and yogurt is working on an "animal-free dairy milk" that is somehow real milk without the involvement of a cow. One of the founders says the idea is to combine the best of a real dairy product with the best of a dairy substitute. Perfect Day milk is made from a dairy yeast that can be optimized to produce real milk proteins, including casein, the main protein in cheese. Supported by $4 million in venture funding, the company still hasn’t decided what its first product will be, but is leaning toward vegan yogurt or cheese, rather than milk, because “that’s where the real lack of alternatives is.”
Jessica Leber, "These Vegan Dairy Products Are Made From Milk—There Just Aren't Any Cows Involved", Fast Company, August 18, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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U.K. Unveils Details Of Plan To Deal With Childhood Obesity

August 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The British government has crafted a plan to fight childhood obesity that asks food and beverage manufacturers to voluntarily trim sugar levels by 20 percent within five years, and five percent in the first year. “Other levers” will be applied if the voluntary targets are not met. The plan includes a two-level sugar tax that treats sugar content of five grams per 100 milliliters differently from sugar content of eight grams per 100 milliliters. The plan does not include a ban on advertising sugary drinks. Lastly, the plan stresses exercise in school, calling for primary school children to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.
Becky Waller-Davies, "Sugar Tax Included In Strategy To Tackle Childhood Obesity", Retail Week, August 18, 2016, © EMAP PUBLISHING LIMITED
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Well-Intentioned Government-Funded School Meals Programs Are Making Kids Fat

August 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Low-income students in the Northeast, South, and rural U.S. who participate in federally-subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs are at the greatest risk of becoming overweight, a study has found. The researchers noted that the meal programs are well-intentioned, but are actually contributing to the obesity epidemic among schoolchildren. According to the study, nutrition standards of the subsidized meals programs need to be raised, but in a way that makes the food acceptable and appetizing to children. The study was based on data collected from 21,260 students whose dietary habits were monitored from kindergarten to eighth grade.
Kristen Capogrossi et al., "The Influence of School Nutrition Programs on the Weight of Low-Income Children: A Treatment Effect Analysis", Health Economics, August 11, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Adding Nuts To Diet Reduces Inflammation That Worsens Chronic Diseases

July 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Inflammation tends to worsen the impact of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. U.S. researchers report that eating nuts three to five times a week reduces the biomarkers of inflammation and, in turn, the effects of those diseases. Though the researchers aren’t sure which ingredients exactly are responsible for the improvement, peanuts and tree nuts contain magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids. All are known to protect against inflammation. The study analyzed data from food-frequency questionnaires and plasma biomarkers from 5,013 participants.
Stephen Feller, "Regular Nut Consumption Linked To Less Inflammation", United Press International, July 29, 2016, © United Press International, Inc.
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Meat Producers Angry About Turin’s Embrace Of Veganism

July 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The meat producers of Italy’s Piedmont region are upset with Chiara Appendino, the new mayor of Turin and a major figure in the anti-establishment, populist, environmentalist Five Star Movement (M5S). Appendino has pledged to make vegetarianism and vegan diets a priority in her administration, though meat dishes have formed the foundation of northern Italy’s cuisine for hundreds of years. Details of the mayor’s strategy are few and far between, but observers expect the city to create educational programs in schools to teach students about animal welfare and nutrition. Last year, Italian meat producers fumed over the World Health Organization’s labeling of cured meats such as ham, sausage and salami as carcinogenic, calling it “meat terrorism.”
Stephanie Kirchgaessner, "Five Star mayor of Turin to Create Italy’s First ‘Vegetarian City’", The Guardian, July 21, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Younger Consumers Drive Global Snacking Trend

July 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A report on global snacking trends finds that increasing numbers of consumers – especially younger folks – are taking their nutrition in “modular” fashion, rather than in the traditional three-squares-a-day scheme. Overall, a third of consumers regularly snack, but 40 percent of Millennials (18 – 34) are routine snackers, according to researcher Canadean. Less than a quarter (23 percent) of people age 65 or older say they snack frequently. The main reasons or occasions for snacking include: energy boost, de-stressing or indulging, watching a movie, attending a sporting event, or socializing.
"Many Millennials Shun Practice of Eating Three Regular Meals a Day", News release, Canadean, July 13, 2016, © Canadean Ltd.
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Study Finds That Pasta Can Be A Healthy Part of A Mediterranean Diet

July 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A recent study by Italian researchers has found that pasta eating fits with the healthful Mediterranean diet. Data – height, weight, activity levels, and diet – were collected from more than 14,000 participants. The participants reported their food intake over the prior 24 hours just once via telephone. The researchers found that pasta consumption was associated with better compliance to a Mediterranean style of eating. Pasta eating was negatively linked with abdominal obesity, and positively with a higher intake of tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil. The participants only ate about 1.5 to 3 ounces of pasta a day, which is more like a side dish than a meal.
Sheah Rarback, "You Can Eat Pasta, But Load It With Veggies And Keep Serving Small", Miami Herald, July 11, 2016, © MiamiHerald.com
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Happiness Is … A Fruit And Vegetable Diet, Study Finds

July 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British and Australian researchers have determined that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the happier you’ll become, and fairly quickly. The study, which tracked 12,000 randomly selected Australian adults who kept food diaries, also measured their psychological well-being (i.e., happiness). Psychological benefits of eating up to eight portions of fruits and vegetables a day were found within two years. On the other hand, protective benefits against cancer from a healthful diet may take decades to accumulate. The increase in life satisfaction among the participants was “equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment,” the researchers said.
"Fruit And Veg Give You The Feel-Good Factor", News release, University of Warwick, July 08, 2016, © University of Warwick
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Busy Low-Carb Fans Can Now Get Atkins Meal Kits

July 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
People who are into the low-carb approach to weight loss can now get a week’s supply of appropriate foods directly from Atkins Nutritionals at prices ranging from about $70 to almost $98 a box, either as one-time online buys or on a subscription basis. The Meal Kits include frozen meals, snacks, menus, and shopping lists. The frozen food kit contains a variety of Atkins frozen foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Easy Peasy kit ($97.99) includes frozen meals, meal bars and shakes. All kits include the Atkins meal kit guide, the new Atkins Made Easy book, the Atkins carb counter and the recipe booklet. The company says the kits are targeted at low-carb aficionados “with busy lifestyles.”
"Atkins Launches First Line Of Meal Kits", News release, Atkins Nutritionals, July 07, 2016, © Atkins Nutritionals
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New Zealand Researchers Develop Model For Sodium Reduction

July 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
High-sodium diets increase blood pressure and the risk of stomach cancer and kidney disease, so many countries are developing sodium reduction plans. Researchers in New Zealand constructed a model that would tell how much sodium would need to be reduced in packaged foods, restaurant foods and home use to achieve the WHO-recommended decrease to five grams a day. Using food purchase data and food brand sodium content data, the researchers determined that a 36 percent reduction in packaged food salt, plus a 40 percent reduction in home and restaurant use, would reduce salt intake in New Zealand from 8.4 to 5.5 grams/day) and meet the WHO target. Key sodium reductions: white bread (21 percent), hard cheese (27 percent), sausages (42 percent), and breakfast cereals (54 percent).
Helen Eyles et al., "Achieving the WHO sodium target: estimation of reductions required in the sodium content of packaged foods and other sources of dietary sodium", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 06, 2016, © American Society for Nutrition
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British Gym Rats Are No Longer The Only Buyers Of Sports Nutrition Products

July 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Sales of sports nutrition products – muscle milks, protein bars, energy gels, etc. – are booming in Great Britain. At the heart of this strong performance is an expanding market: an increasing number of health-conscious consumers – beyond exercise junkies – are buying them. Mintel says 24 percent of Brits consumed a sports nutrition product in the past three months, including 42 percent of men aged 16-24. U.K. consumers spent £66 million on sports nutrition foods and drinks in 2015, an increase of 27 percent from 2013. The products are now staples on store shelves: 47 percent of sports nutrition buyers say the products are part of their everyday diet.
"Sports Nutrition Bulks Up: UK Market Sales Rise By 27% In Two Years As One In Four Brits Use The Products", News release, Mintel, July 06, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Vegetarian Diet Proven To Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who tracked more than 200,000 individuals for 20 years found that a plant-based diet is more likely to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The individuals in the study had all filled out health and diet questionnaires beginning as early as 1984. They found that found that eating a diet rich in plant foods and low in animal foods was linked with a 20 percent reduction in diabetes risk. The researchers defined healthy plant foods as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, and tea or coffee. Less healthy plant foods included fruit juices, sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes, and sweets/desserts. Animal foods included animal fats, dairy, eggs, fish/seafood, and poultry/red meat.
Ambika Satija et al., "Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies. ", PLOS Medicine, June 20, 2016, © Satija et al.
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Britain’s “Eatwell Guide” Is Skewed Toward A Debunked, Industry-Driven Diet Scheme

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K.’s “Eatwell Guide” was introduced by the Department of Health in 1994 as a graphic showing a segmented plate indicating the daily proportions of food groups needed for a healthy diet. A revision of the Guide – with mainly “cosmetic” changes – has now been lambasted by a British scientist for being out of step with scientific evidence that has discredited the Guide’s commercially-driven high-carb, low-fat diet scheme. That scheme was formulated with the input of too many people with food industry ties and too few independent nutrition experts. As a sign of the Guide’s failure, rates of obesity and diabetes in Great Britain have soared since the 1970s.
Zoe Harcombe, "Designed by the food industry for wealth, not health: the ‘Eatwell Guide’. ", British Journal of Sports Medicine, June 20, 2016, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. & British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
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