Is There One True Diet That Guarantees Better Performance?

During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, as Frank Shorter prepared to race, he had a secret ingredient up his sleeve: flat Coca-Cola. The US athlete caffeinated his way over 42 kilometers to win gold in the marathon.

Bizarre as it may sound, decades later researchers discovered that consuming caffeine during endurance exercise could give an athlete the edge.

In a new review published in Science, Australian Institute of Sport’s head of sports nutrition Professor Louise Burke and the director of The Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Professor John Hawley, explore nutritional approaches to performance in elite athletes.

They argue there is no “single, superior ‘athletic diet’”. Rather, different tactics benefit different people, forms of exercise and phases of training.

The great diet debate

The developing knowledge about how the body uses fuel helps to explain the high-carb/low-carb debate as well as the myth of the perfect “athlete’s diet”.

“The early sports nutrition guidelines were ‘let’s all eat high carbohydrate at all times because that’s what the muscles are using as fuel’,” Burke explains.

This explains the idea of energy gels during endurance races or the thought process of anyone who ever decided to skol a soft drink or eat a Mars bar right before an event.

Continue Reading at The Sydney Morning Herald

Can A Diet Rich In Fish Help Fight Childhood Asthma?

New research from La Trobe University in Australia suggests a diet rich in fish may help reduce asthma symptoms in children, a disease affecting one in 12 kids in the United States, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the study, scientists conducted a trial involving 64 children from Athens, Greece, all of whom had mild asthma. The children, aged 5 to 12 years, were divided into two groups: the Greek Mediterranean diet group and the group that followed their healthy diet. Those in the Greek Mediterranean group ate two meals of cooked fatty fish (at least 150 grams) every week for six months.

Researchers found that at the end of the trial, the Mediterranean diet group experienced a significant reduction in bronchial inflammation.

According to the CDC, approximately 16 million American children have asthma, which can cause wheezing, difficulty breathing and coughing. If left untreated, asthma can cause permanent lung damage over time.

While yearly asthma hospitalizations have declined since 2003, experts warn that climate change may make matters worse.

“Climate change is a huge threat to respiratory health by directly causing or aggravating pre-existing respiratory diseases and increasing exposure to risk factors for respiratory diseases,” the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America wrote on its website.

Continue Reading at AJC

Can Diet Prevent Breast Cancer From Spreading?

Healthy diets that include plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that can boost the body’ s natural immune system can help people in their fight against cancer.

While some foods, namely unhealthy, high-fat/high-caloric foods, are best avoided, women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer who want to prevent the spread of cancer to other areas of their bodies may want to cut some surprising foods from their diets.

A study published in the journal Nature found that reducing asparagine consumption in laboratory mice with triple-negative breast cancer could dramatically reduce the ability of cancer to travel to distant sites in the body.

Asparagine is found in foods like asparagus, whole grains, soy, seafood, eggs, poultry, beef, legumes, and more. While reducing asparagine will not affect the original breast cancer tumor, it could stop cancer from showing up elsewhere in the body.

Continue Reading at Daily News

Diet Affects The Breast Microbiome In Mammals

Diet influences the composition of microbial populations in the mammary glands of nonhuman primates, researchers report October 2 in the journal Cell Reports. Specifically, a Mediterranean diet increased the abundance of probiotic bacteria previously shown to inhibit tumor growth in animals.

Diet has been extensively studied as a lifestyle factor that could influence breast cancer development. Breast cancer risk in women is increased by consumption of a high-fat Western diet full of sweets and processed foods but reduced by a healthy Mediterranean diet consisting of vegetables, fish, and olive oil. Intriguingly, a recent study in humans revealed that malignant breast tumors have a lower abundance of Lactobacillus bacteria compared to benign lesions, suggesting that microbial imbalances could contribute to breast cancer.

To address this question, Shively and Cook used macaque monkeys because the animals mimic human breast biology and have been used to study breast cancer risk. One advantage over human studies is that the food intake of the monkeys can be carefully controlled for a prolonged period of time, increasing the chance of observing the profound effects of diet.

Taken together, these results suggest that diet directly influences microbiome populations outside of the intestinal tract and could impact mammary gland health. But for now, it is not clear what impact these microbes or microbial-modified metabolites have on breast cancer risk.

Read more at Science Daily

Intestines Modify Their Cellular Structure In Response To Diet

Body organs such as the intestine and ovaries undergo structural changes in response to dietary nutrients that can have lasting impacts on metabolism, as well as cancer susceptibility, according to Carnegie’s Rebecca Obniski, Matthew Sieber, and Allan Spradling.

There are three major types of cells in fruit fly (and mammalian) intestines: Stem cells, hormone-producing cells, and nutrient-handling cells. Think of the stem cells as blanks, which are eventually programmed to become either hormone-producing or nutrient-handling cells. The authors discovered that this programming can be influenced by dietary nutrients and that young animals are particularly sensitive to these changes.

The effect of cholesterol is to promote the programming of more new, “blank” cells into hormone-producing cells rather than nutrient-handling cells. Conversely, decreasing dietary cholesterol results in more nutrient-absorbing cells and fewer hormone-producing cells.

Moreover, the researchers were able to identify the detailed molecular mechanism by which cholesterol causes these changes in cell fates, and to show that it is closely related to the way human intestinal cells regulate cholesterol production.

What does this mean?

It shows that low nutrient availability, especially early in life, such as the low-cholesterol diet for the fruit flies, triggers changes in intestinal structure and metabolism that have long-term effects. These changes persist for quite a while even if the diet changes, which can increase the risk of metabolic health problems down the road.

Continue Reading at Science Daily

Can Dietary Changes Help With Microscopic Colitis?

Microscopic colitis is an inflammation of the bowel lining that doctors can only see under a microscope. It is often possible to treat this condition with medication, but dietary and lifestyle changes may also help reduce or prevent symptoms.

The symptoms of MC tend to come and go, and diarrhea can last for weeks or months. In some people, the condition may resolve without treatment. The cause of MC is still not clear.

Researchers are currently studying the possible connection between diet and MC.

There is little evidence to suggest a link between what people eat and the symptoms of MC. Researchers in Sweden published a study in 2016 that followed 135 people with MC over the course of 22 years and monitored their intake of the following:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Sucrose
  • Saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat
  • Omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids
  • Fiber
  • Zinc

    Read more at Medical News Today

Sustainable Nutrition: A New Term for An Old Concern

Food security is a most basic human need. Historical accounts show that for centuries, human societies around the world have raised concerns about our food supply. This contemplation has driven innovation and we have, quite successfully, adapted to feed and nourish people.

With increasing constraints on our planetary boundaries — we’re not getting more land any time soon — and a growing world population, the areas of sustainability and human nutrition have merged into a new conversation: sustainable nutrition. This convergence is more of an evolution than a revolution. Thomas Malthus’ 1798 essay on population growth made a similar warning as contemporary concerns about nutrition and sustainability — demand for food will outpace our ability to produce it.

For food insecure populations, this is especially true, and these populations are not only in the developing world but exist even in developed, wealthy nations such as the United States, where one out of every six children is raised in a food insecure household. Yet, growing demand for animal-sourced foods, has been called unsustainable by some who argue that raising demand for nutrient rich animal-sourced foods cannot be met without exceeding environmental boundaries.

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, grazing lands make up nearly 800 million acres or 36 percent of the U.S. land area (Figure 1). Of that 800 million acres, only 12.8 million acres is classified as cropland pasture — grazing lands that could be converted to growing crops without major improvements. In the scenario of converting grazing lands to croplands, negative consequences would be expected. For example, the rates of soil loss on cultivated cropland are over four times greater than pastures, and the loss of grasslands can mean decreased habitat for wildlife.

Read the full article at GreenBiz

5 Food Swaps for a Low Glycemic Index Diet

One key phrase that’s been popping up over the years is low GI, but what does that really mean? And why is it talked about so much?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking of how quickly foods with carbohydrates are absorbed by the body and how they affect your blood sugar levels.

“Eating high GI foods (think lollies, soft drink, white pasta) can cause a spike in you blood sugar after you eat. Big spikes in your blood sugar levels tend to give you only short-lived energy leaving you feeling lethargic and possibly hungry soon after eating. Foods with a lower GI (wholegrains, fruit, dairy foods) can provide a more steady release of energy helping you feel your best,” says Lyndi.

If you’re scratching your head wondering where to start, here are some easy tips.

  1. Swap white bread for wholegrain bread
  2. Swap jasmine rice for basmati rice
  3. Swap potato chips for nuts
  4. Swap regular potatoes for sweet potato
  5. Swap instant oats for traditional rolled oats

Read the complete article at Now to Love

CKD: How This Diet Can Help In Managing Kidney Diseases

Eating a healthy diet is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy weight and good health. Eating healthy foods help in building a strong immunity. People suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) should consume a balanced diet.

A healthy and balanced diet helps patients with chronic kidney disease to be less dependent on dialysis. It helps in improving their blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Most patients of kidney disease, who do not even need dialysis, don’t consult a dietitian because of lack of awareness of simple ignorance.

According to a latest research published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most patients of chronic kidney disease remain uninformed about how chronic kidney disease diet influences management and progression of chronic kidney disease.

People on dialysis need to take large amounts of protein from their diet. They need to restrict salt, potassium and water content in order to maintain their blood pressure. “Usually patients with chronic kidney disease should take 0.6 gm to 0.8 gm protein per kg of their body weight, before dialysis. These proteins should be good quality protein, from dietary sources such a milk and milk products or meat. Patients on dialysis need to get 1 gm to 1.2 gm protein per kg of their body weight,” says Dr Vijay.

NDTV

Consumer Watch: The Nutrition Mistake Messing-up Your Diet

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Most people tend to under eat a specific nutrient that makes them more likely to trip up on their healthy diets, and it’s not about eating more vegetables necessarily, but protein.

There are no magic potions here when it comes to losing weight. Ever heard the phrase, you can’t outrun your diet? Basically– working out is great, but what you eat matters more for weight loss. That doesn’t mean reducing your calories by unsafe amount, but it is important to dodge the calorie bombs, you know, the tasty treats.

“Protein is the most filling macro nutrient that we have, so if you were to have 200 calories worth of 93/7 beef, 200 calories of rice, or 200 calories of potatoes — the beef would have you the most full,” says Farris.

Eating enough lean protein will mean you stay full for longer, making it easier to say no thanks to the office candy dish. Farris say the average person should eat 30 grams of protein each main meal.

Eating healthier doesn’t mean being hungry or even all that much less, but it can mean changing the types of foods. To see how nutritious your diet is right now, think of your eating like a financial budget.

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