Club Food

Canola Oil May Be an Oil of Choice for People with Type 2 Diabetes

Food.RapeseedNew research suggests canola oil may be one of the oils of choice for people with Type 2 diabetes. Researchers compared people with Type 2 diabetes who ate either a low glycemic index diet that included bread made with canola oil, or a whole wheat diet known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The research found that those on the canola bread diet experienced both a reduction in blood glucose levels and a significant reduction in LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol.

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Source: St. Michael’s Hospital. “Canola oil may be an oil of choice for people with type 2 diabetes.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2014.


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Why You Need Olive Oil on Your Salad

Food.Olive.OilA diet that combines unsaturated fats with nitrite-rich vegetables, such as olive oil and lettuce, can protect you from hypertension, suggests a new study led by King’s College London. The findings, published in the journal PNAS, help to explain why some previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can reduce blood pressure.

The Mediterranean diet typically includes unsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados, along with vegetables like spinach, celery and carrots that are rich in nitrites and nitrates.

When these two food groups are combined, the reaction of unsaturated fatty acids with nitrogen compounds in the vegetables results in the formation of nitro fatty acids.

Professor Philip Eaton, Professor of Cardiovascular Biochemistry at King’s College London, said: “The findings of our study help to explain why previous research has shown that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks.”

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Source: King’s College London. “Why you need olive oil on your salad.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2014.


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Green Tea Extract Boosts Your Brain Power, Especially the Working Memory

Food.Tea.GreenGreen tea is said to have many putative positive effects on health. Now, researchers at the University of Basel are reporting first evidence that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, in particular the working memory. The Swiss findings suggest promising clinical implications for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia. The academic journal Psychopharmacology has published their results.

In a new study, the researcher teams of Prof. Christoph Beglinger from the University Hospital of Basel and Prof. Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics found that green tea extract increases the brain’s effective connectivity, meaning the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another. This effect on connectivity also led to improvement in actual cognitive performance: Subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract.

“Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain,” says Borgwardt.

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Source: University of Basel. “Green tea extract boosts your brain power, especially the working memory, new research shows.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2014.

Unique Compounds in Oats Help Protect the Heart

Body.Heart1Ample evidence has been published that demonstrates that a diet abundant in whole grains associates with a reduced risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. Most of the benefits have been attributed to the relatively high fiber, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content of whole grains. Notably, the soluble fiber beta-glucan found in oats has been recognized for its ability to lower both total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

Unique compound found in oats – avenanthramides – may play an important role in protecting the heart. Oliver Chen, from Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA), reports that avenanthramides exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that likely contribute to the atheroprotection of oats. Further, Mohsen Meydani, from Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA), revealed that oat avenanthramides suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines associated with fatty streak formation in the arteries. In addition, oat avenanthramides appear to repress the process associated with the development of atherosclerosis.

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Source: WorldHealth.net.

Increasing Consumption of Coffee Associated With Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Food.Coffee.BeansNew research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that increasing coffee consumption by on average one and half cups per day (approx 360 ml) over a four-year period reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11%. The research is led by Dr Frank Hu and Dr Shilpa Bhupathiraju, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA, and colleagues.

Coffee and tea consumption has been associated with a lower type 2 diabetes risk but little is known about how changes in coffee and tea consumption influence subsequent type 2 diabetes risk. The authors examined the associations between 4-year changes in coffee and tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent 4 years.

The authors documented 7,269 incident type 2 diabetes cases, and found that participants who increased their coffee consumption by more than 1 cup/day (median change=1.69 cups/day) over a 4-year period had a 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent 4-years compared to those who made no changes in consumption. Participants who decreased their coffee intake by 1 cup a day or more (median change=-2 cups/day) had a 17% higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Changes in tea consumption were not associated with type 2 diabetes risk.

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Source: Diabetologia. “Increasing consumption of coffee associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014.

Daily Serving of Beans, Peas, Chickpeas or Lentils Can Significantly Reduce Bad Cholesterol

Food.Bean.GreenEating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce “bad cholesterol” and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study has found.

The study, led by Dr. John Sievenpiper of the hospital’s Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Dr. Sievenpiper said that by eating one serving a day of pulses, people could lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by five per cent. He said that would translate into a five to six per cent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

One serving of pulses is 130 grams or ¾ cup. Pulses have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are foods that break down slowly) and tend to reduce or displace animal protein as well as “bad” fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.

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Source: St. Michael’s Hospital. “Daily serving of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce bad cholesterol.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2014.

Eating Fruits, Vegetables Linked to Healthier Arteries Later in Life

Food.Vegetables1Women who ate a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables as young adults were much less likely to have plaque build-up in their arteries 20 years later compared with those who consumed lower amounts of these foods, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session. This new finding reinforces the importance of developing healthy eating habits early in life.

Specifically, women who reported consuming the most fruits and vegetables (eight to nine servings a day for a 2,000-calorie diet) in their 20s were 40 percent less likely to have calcified plaque in their arteries in their 40s compared with those who ate the least amount (three to four servings a day) during the same time period. This association persisted even after researchers accounted for other lifestyle behaviors, as well as for their current-day diets, further demonstrating the role dietary patterns at younger ages may play.

“These findings confirm the concept that plaque development is a lifelong process, and that process can be slowed down with a healthy diet at a young age,” said Michael D. Miedema, M.D. “This is often when dietary habits are established, so there is value in knowing how the choices we make in early life have lifelong benefits.”

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Source: American College of Cardiology. “Eating fruits, vegetables linked to healthier arteries later in life.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2014.

Green Tea Supports Heart Health

Food.Tea.GreenGreen tea contains antioxidants of the polyphenol family of 30% to 40%. Previous studies suggest that these antioxidant compounds exert beneficial effects on parameters of cardiovascular health. Onakpoya, from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), and colleagues who completed a meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials, involving a total of subjects of 1,536, of green tea and its polyphenol constituents. The researchers found that green tea consumption associated with a lower average systolic blood pressure. In addition, green tea consumption correlated to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.

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Source: WorldHealth.net

Why Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Heart

Food.Chocolate.DarkIt might seem too good to be true, but dark chocolate is good for you and scientists now know why. Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are known factors that play a significant role in atherosclerosis. What’s more, the scientists also found that increasing the flavanol content of dark chocolate did not change this effect.

“The effect that dark chocolate has on our bodies is encouraging not only because it allows us to indulge with less guilt, but also because it could lead the way to therapies that do the same thing as dark chocolate but with better and more consistent results,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Until the ‘dark chocolate drug’ is developed, however, we’ll just have to make do with what nature has given us!”

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Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. “Why dark chocolate is good for your heart.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2014.

Strawberries lower cholesterol, study suggests

Food.Strawberry1A team of volunteers ate half a kilo of strawberries a day for a month to see whether it altered their blood parameters in any way. At the end of this unusual treatment, their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly reduced, according to the analyses conducted by Italian and Spanish scientists. Several studies had already demonstrated the antioxidant capacity of strawberries, but now researchers conducted an analysis that revealed that these fruits also help to reduce cholesterol.

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Source: Plataforma SINC. “Strawberries lower cholesterol, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2014.