Study: Diet soft drinks linked to strokes, Dementia

“So, the bottom line is, ‘Have more water and have less diet soda.’ And don’t switch to real soda.”

Americans trying to stay healthy have abandoned sugary drinks for diet drinks in droves over the past few decades on the theory the latter is better than the former. Now, more evidence has emerged to refute that rationale.

Indeed, a new study shows an association between diet soft drinks and both stroke and dementia, with people drinking diet soda daily being almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia as those who consumed it weekly or less.

The study kept track of 2,888 individuals age 45 and over for the development of a stroke and 1,484 participants age 60 and older for dementia over a 10-year period. All are participants in the famous Framingham Heart Study, several thousand men, and women who have had blood tests done periodically since the 1970s.

The study “found that those who reported consuming at least one artificially sweetened drink a day, compared to less than one a week, were 2.96 times as likely to have an ischemic stroke, caused by blood vessel blockage, and 2.89 times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease,” said a summary from the AHA.

A parallel study of sugary drinks did not find an association with stroke or dementia.
The artificial sweeteners consumed by those in the study included saccharin, acesulfame-K, and aspartame. Others — including sucralose, neotame, and stevia — have been approved by the FDA since the study said.

“Low-calorie sweeteners have been proven safe by worldwide government safety authorities as well as hundreds of scientific studies and there is nothing in this research that counters this well-established fact,” it said in a statement, adding: “While we respect the mission of these organizations to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia, the authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not — and cannot — prove cause and effect.”

NWF Daily News

How Cargill is addressing GMO concerns, and looking to Asia for growth

American agribusiness Cargill has its sights set on moving up the food chain and focusing on the aquaculture and meat segments, with Asia expected to be a key market.

Since the company spent $1.5 billion acquiring Norwegian salmon-feed manufacturer EWOS in 2015, it has realigned its portfolio to focus on its core food production business, Cargill Chairman and CEO David MacLennan told CNBC’s “Managing Asia.”

“(T)he rate of growth of fish consumption in the world greatly exceeds pork consumption in the world. We see that trend and we’re getting on it,” MacLennan said.

MacLennan expressed interest in the prospects Asia offers, adding that Cargill has made recent investments in the region. Among them are a chocolate facility in Indonesia, feed mills in Vietnam and South Korea, and joint ventures in the chicken business in the Philippines and Indonesia, he said.

As for the controversy surrounding genetically-modified food, Cargill is attempting to satisfy both ends of the spectrum by acknowledging the growing group of people against genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

The company reportedly drew the ire of farmers after it was linked to the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit anti-GMO group. Cargill responded by reaching out to farmer groups to discuss how the company could better acknowledge how it remains in favor or GMOs.

“We don’t believe in attacking GMOs as a technology. It’s a valid and legitimate technology … At the same time, there are some consumers that don’t want it,” MacLennan said.

CNBC

Stressed? Anxious? Try these home remedies

Stress is something that just about everyone knows well and experiences often. It’s that feeling of pressure, typically a result of too much to do and too little time to do it in.

Anxiety is a tense feeling that often accompanies stress. It’s typically directed toward the future — toward something that may happen soon. Some anxiety can motivate you or help you respond to danger. However, if you have ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities and makes it hard to enjoy life, then anxiety can be a problem.

Lifestyle, Home Remedies


Keep physically active. Develop a routine so you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.

Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause or worsen anxiety. If you can’t quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.

Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.

Discuss your concerns. Talking with a trusted friend helps relieve stress and may provide a more positive perspective on your situation. This may lead to a healthy plan of action.

Use stress management and relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation, and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.

Learn to relax. Your goal is to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while also reducing muscle tension.

Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.

Eat healthfully. Healthful eating — such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish — may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.

Art and music therapy can be helpful. You can use drawing, painting, clay and sculpture to express your inner thoughts and emotions when talking about them is difficult.

Anxiety


To cope with an anxiety disorder, here are things to consider:

Learn about your disorder. Talk to your doctor or mental health provider. Find out what might be causing your specific condition and what treatments might be best for you. Involve your family and friends and ask for their support.

Stick to your treatment plan. Take medications as directed. Keep therapy appointments and complete any assignments your therapist may give you. Consistency can make a big difference, especially when it comes to taking your medication.

Take action. Learn what triggers your anxiety or causes you stress. Practice the strategies you developed with your mental health provider so you’re ready to deal with anxious feelings in these situations.

Journal Times

The Future of Food: To GMO or Not To GMO?

An organic diet has never been more in style than it is right now, with millions of consumers willing to shell out extra dollars for organic foods. Most of us have a vague idea that organic is better because it’s more natural and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticides.

But what does “natural” even mean? The line is harder to draw than we may think.

How different is food from GM crops as compared to food from non-GM crops?

Humans have been “genetically modifying” plants and animals for thousands of years. Five hundred years ago, say a farmer noticed some corn was a little sweeter. To replicate that flavor, the farmer might select those seeds for the next crop. That new trait came about by random genetic mutation, and establishing a noticeably sweeter flavor using selective breeding would take years, if not decades.

Some GM foods, like BT crops, are engineered to contain a form of pesticide, which means they don’t need to be sprayed with chemical pesticides. Eating food that produces a pesticide sounds scary, but as the video notes, pesticide doesn’t always mean it is inedible or harmful to humans. Many substances harm insects or animals, but not humans—coffee is one example.

Much of the backlash against GMOs is less about genetic engineering and more about the business practices of the corporations that control our food supply. GMO crops have been a money-maker for herbicide companies—and as crops have been modified to be herbicide-resistant, herbicide use increases. For companies making GMO seeds and associated herbicides, that’s a lot of power over something as critical as how we feed ourselves.

GMOs are part of the larger genetic engineering debate, which is only going to intensify. New techniques are getting easier, cheaper, and more precise by the year. Tech can do damage or be a force for good; the real trick is weighing risk and benefit impartially and making choices that steer us in the right direction.

Singularity Hub

4 Reasons you’re NOT Losing Weight on a Vegan diet

Interestingly this is not merely a notion; an Oxford University study of 40,000 adults found that those who ate a diet high in meat, had the highest Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) with vegans the lowest and vegetarians in the middle.

However, in reality, my clinical practice experience does not coincide with these research findings and in fact, those who have cut out all foods originating from animal products did not lose weight and worse still often gained weight!

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that might be sabotaging your good intentions and weight loss efforts.

1. You’re not eating enough protein
Protein is the one food group that is should be the focus of a new vegan diet with getting adequate protein the main aim. Adequate protein is also an essential as part of a weight loss program.

2. You’re eating too much
Switching to a plant-based diet inevitably focuses your choices on healthy whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, and whole grain bread as well as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and the ubiquitous avocado.

3. You’re not sticking to three meals a day
By switching to a vegan diet, you find yourself focusing on your food choices more than ever; after all, you need to ensure a well-balanced diet despite eliminating a number of food groups.

4. You’re treating yourself inadvertently
Great, but more often than not, these are little more than junk food disguised under the healthy vegan banner. Take vegetable chips for example; these are very high in oil and salt and any nutrients that vegetables started out with have long been eliminated during the cooking and processing trail.

Coconut milk, delicious, creamy and sweet is laden with calories and highly processed, so less nutritive. Vegan ready meals will contain ‘filler’ ingredients such as refined flour providing little nutrient value.

Avoid processed foods in the specialty aisles and instead go back to real food, in other words, if you need a snack, choose fruits and nuts or high percent cocoa solids chocolate or perhaps some crudites and a hummus or avocado dip.

Daily Mail

6 Brilliant Home Remedies for a Throat Infection

A pesky throat infection is hard to handle. The irritation and itchiness can make it difficult for you to concentrate on your daily chores. Not to forget, the terrible pain that may accompany in severe conditions. A lot of kitchen ingredients are known for their powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help fight infections. They can also help in boosting your immunity and making you stronger from within.

What causes a throat infection?

It could be tonsillitis, cold or a strep throat. It is usually one of the first effects of cold, flu or congestion. A throat infection is basically caused by some virus or bacteria. It may be an effect of some other ailment that you are suffering with or may be attacked by the pollutants or irritants in the air or some kind of allergies.

Symptoms of a throat infection

Look out for the following symptoms if you feel you are suffering from a throat infection. Here’s how you can tell:

1. Swelling of the tonsils
2. Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
3. Throat pain and inflammation
4. Pain in your ears

These are the most common symptoms which may be accompanied by other side effects like fever, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, watery eyes, runny nose or a cough. Here are six brilliant home remedies to soothe your throat infection.

1. Gargle with salt water
2. Turmeric milk
3. Herbal tea
4. Honey
5. Apple cider vinegar
6. Suck on garlic

If you are suffering from a throat infection, it is best to stay away from dairy products like cheese and yogurt and even fermented foods.

NDTV

Home Remedies To Ease Stress, Relieve Anxiety

Stress is something that just about everyone knows well and experiences often. It’s that feeling of pressure, typically a result of too much to do and too little time to do it in. In a busy life, stress is almost unavoidable.

Anxiety is a tense feeling that often accompanies stress. It’s typically directed toward the future — toward something that may happen soon. Some Anxiety can motivate you or help yo respond to danger. However, if you have ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities and makes it hard to enjoy life, then anxiety can be a problem.

Lifestyle and home remedies:

Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.


Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause or worsen anxiety. If you can’t quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.


Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.


Discuss your concerns. Talking with a trusted friend helps relieve stress and may provide a more positive perspective on your situation. This may lead to the healthy plan of action.


Use stress management and relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation, and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.


Learn to relax. Your goal is to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while also reducing muscle tension.


Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.


Eat healthily. Healthy eating — such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish — may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.

South Florida Reporter

Why can’t I lose weight? Here’s Why!

Losing weight isn’t easy and dieters often fail multiple times before getting it right.

The reasons are multifaceted. Many assume that exercise will solve the weight-loss dilemma — it won’t — or that fat will make you fat. Wrong again.

Here are five reasons your diet may be doomed:

1. Counting calories, but not eating real food
Calories from refined carbohydrates and sugar cause you to eat more, without feeling satisfied. Calories from healthy fats, fiber rich sources, and protein, however are metabolized differently and more likely to lead to effective weight loss.

2. Starting the day with carbohydrates
Cereal, toast with jam, or a big glass of OJ are breakfast staples, but studies show that starting the day with protein, instead of sugary carbohydrates leads to reduced hunger and cravings later in the day.

3. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is glorious, and the benefits of getting enough of it are numerous. Studies show clear associations between a lack of sleep with overeating, weight gain, and obesity. If you’re struggling with your weight loss efforts, getting at least 8 hours a sleep a night may make all the difference.

4. Eating when not hungry
We often eat because we are bored, stressed, tired, thirsty, or simply because our favorite show is on. Instead, we should view food as fuel, not entertainment.

5.Hanging with the wrong crowd
One study found that individuals that had successfully lost weight were frequently met with challenges with friends, family and co-workers who undermined weight-loss efforts. In response, they would regain the weight.

A recent study found that Americans might be less likely to attempt weight loss due to simply giving up after many attempts or increasing “fat acceptance” in the United States. A recent study found that people had a hard time sticking to a diet when eating out or simply eating with friends.

Today

Ketogenic Diet: 10 Things you Need to Know!

The ketogenic diet has been quietly developing a cult following online. Maybe you’ve heard about it, or maybe you haven’t. The main thing you need to know about “keto,” the popular nickname for the diet, is that it’s high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb. Many people who have tried the diet say the results are unbelievable. It’s known to help with more than just weight loss, too, and has been credited to helping with diabetes, Lyme disease, epilepsy, and anxiety.

If you’re interested in trying the diet, here’s what you need to know first.

1. SAY GOODBYE TO CARBS. ‘Cause you can’t have ’em! Technically speaking, you will have carbs — about 20 grams (of net carbs) per day. The source of these carbs will be vegetables, probably. But the point of this diet is to get your body to stop running on carbs. So prepare to trade in pizza, bread, pasta, and even quinoa for salads, olive oil, avocado, and meat. BUT, before you say, “hell no, I won’t go,” know that you can have some of your favorites, like bacon, ranch dressing, and even butter.

2. FAT IS YOUR FRIEND. Fat is your new fuel. You’re going to need lots of it: roughly 90 grams per day, depending on your body and weight loss goal. Finding sources of good fat isn’t too difficult, though — just reach for some almonds, macadamia nuts, and avocado.

3. IT’S GOING TO SUCK AT FIRST. Think about it: Your body has to adjust to starchy carbs going MIA. You’ll probably experience something that people refer to as “keto flu.” Basically, when your body is going through the transition into ketosis, you’ll feel some flu-like symptoms—mostly headaches. But don’t worry, it won’t last too long.

4. BUT THERE’S BACON! Bacon will get you through. Of course, having bacon every day isn’t a healthy choice, but having it at brunch will make you feel like you’re still a human while your friends scarf down waffles, home fries, and toast.

5. YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT HALF-ASS THIS. If you think you can just eat keto-friendly foods and that will be all it takes, you’re in for a real surprise. The truth is, you have to weigh everything you eat so that you can calculate everything you eat and keep track of your macronutrients. You’re going to have daily goals of how much fat, protein, and carbs you should eat, and if you don’t reach them, you won’t see any results.

6. YOU’RE GOING TO BECOME OBSESSED WITH READING LABELS. As part of the diet, you’ll have to check for net carbs (total carbs minus dietary fiber) on food labels constantly. It’s not really a bad thing, but get ready to be the person who says “there’s way too many carbs in that!”

7. YOUR SOCIAL LIFE MIGHT TAKE A HIT. Going out to eat isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are absolutely keto options on almost every menu, but you’re always going to be wondering, “what kind of oil was this cooked in?” Or “were these chicken wings breaded?” And nights out drinking with your friends? Be careful.

8. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND. It’s hard to explain keto to others. If you want to fully emerge yourself in the diet, you need to a lot about it. And trying to regurgitate all of that info to someone who isn’t on keto can be difficult. People will ask you why you want to deprive yourself of carbs, but you just have to keep your mind set on your goals.

9. YOUR STOMACH WILL THANK YOU. I don’t just mean your abs — which will feel slim and less bloated. If you have stomach issues, like bloating, IBS, or just chronic food comas, you’ll feel so much better on keto. You won’t eat just to eat, you’ll eat to reach your daily intake goals. For a lot of people on keto, they say they don’t even feel hungry.

10. YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN … THE INTERNET. If you feel like none of your friends understand the diet, don’t worry about that. Not only can you google all of your burning keto questions, but you can find communities online of other people who are doing the diet. You can share recipes and success stories, struggles, and setbacks. You’re never alone.

Delish

Consumers Opposed to GM don’t Understand Plant Breeding

RED DEER — Consumer concern about the safety of genetically modified food stems from lack of understanding about plant breeding regardless of type, says an American corn breeder and professor at Cornell University.

Margaret Smith said people have been modifying crops through domestication, selection and cross breeding for about 200 years, and genetic modification is only the newest tool available to achieve it.

She referred to a 2001 U.S. survey in which more than 60 percent of respondents said they had never eaten a traditionally crossbred fruit or vegetable, and more than 64 percent thought they had never eaten a GM fruit or vegetable.

As for GM content, there are few examples of fresh produce on the market today beyond some varieties of sweet corn, although a non-browning apple and potatoes engineered to resist black spot and late blight are pending.

She said 83 percent of the world’s soybeans, 29 percent of maize and 24 percent of canola are GM varieties.

About 60 percent of supermarket foods have ingredients from a GM variety, said Smith, although those ingredients are chemically identical to those that are non-GM.

The safety of GM food has always been a major consumer concern, said Smith, noting that studies to date have produced no credible evidence that existing GM food is harmful.

Smith also said consumers are concerned that the rights to GM crops belong to few.

In the United States, the 96 existing approvals of crops with GM traits are mostly held by Monsanto, Aventis, Syngenta, Dow and DuPont. Various planned mergers, involving Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina and Dow and Dupont, if approved, would leave four main players in the field, Smith said.

The Western Producer