The dia-tarian diet

Two options: honey lemon chicken or marinated tofu. I know, I know that’s not a tough choice and face it, even vegans would choose the chicken if they could. But for the 150 million+ diabetics worldwide, tofu and cooked millet may become your new favorite meal. OK, so the favorite part may be an exaggeration, but hey, if a vegetarian diet can increase weight loss and improve your metabolism then it’s worth a shot, or a taste. Yep, according a new study this veggie diet beat out the conventional diabetic diet on both counts, just not the taste category. Of course with diabetes prevalence expected to double by 2025 and with one-third of the world now considered overweight, we may want to consider rewiring our taste buds.

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A big, fat mistake?

When dietary guidelines were issued by the US and UK governments in 1977 and 1983, they were badly supported by evidence, so says a recent publication in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Guidelines called for total fat and saturated fat to contribute no more than 30% and 10%, respectively, to a person’s total energy intake. According to study authors, while authorities acknowledged at the time that the link between fat consumption and heart problems was unsupported, guidelines were released on the grounds that “it couldn’t hurt.” Study authors draw parallels between the introduction of the fat guidelines and the beginning of the rise in rates of obesity and diabetes. They posit that lowering fat consumption may have been instrumental in the skyrocketing incidence and prevalence rates for diabesity.

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There’s no “good fat” when it comes to obesity

Is it possible to be simultaneously hefty and healthy? In a study presented at the European Congress of Obesity, researchers who scrutinized 20 years of electronic health records for 3.5 million people discovered that people who were overweight, but did not have any of the metabolic problems usually linked to excess weight, were more prone to develop metabolic problems. Compared to non-overweight individuals, “healthy obese people had a 50% higher risk of heart disease, a 7% higher risk of stroke, twice the risk of heart failure and a greater risk for peripheral artery disease.” The takeaway: physicians should encourage weight loss among obese patients irrespective of metabolic abnormalities.

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Counting down to counting calories… eventually

The FDA has again delayed implementation of its requirement for food sellers (supermarkets, chain restaurants, etc.) to post calorie counts of food items on their menus. Originally set to go in effect on May 5, the affected businesses now have until May 7, 2018 to get calorie counts up. While some trade groups representing the industry are happy to see this get delayed, they’re also hoping that a regulation-averse White House will either weaken the requirement, or do away with it altogether. There are certainly some valid criticisms of the requirement, especially in regard to how the hell sellers without menus are supposed to be labeling their products (like convenience stores already starved for space,) however, there’s also things like this to consider.

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Diet…dementia?

Many say a healthy diet is the path to a healthy life, but one kind of diet might not be helping much. Diet sodas. While the consumption of their sugary counterparts does contribute to 184,000 deaths each year, using the diet alternatives to cut out sugar might not be the right call. The American Heart Association’s Journal published a study linking the artificially sweetened drinks to higher risks of stroke and dementia. Compared to never drinking diet sodas, those who had one a day were three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia, and those who had one to six a week were 2.6 times as likely to experience an ischemic stroke. The lesson here… just stick to high quality H2O [Warning: stupid Adam Sandler GIF]

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Take this research with a grain of salt

Study finds that people don’t eat enough vegetables and the primary given reason is taste. If only we’d all use more herbs and spices, they hypothesize, we’d jettison the french fries in favor of healthy vegetable choices. Yeah, that would be just as satisfying. The problem, however, may be less about taste and more about how sugary, fatty, salty foods make us feel. When a seasoned carrot makes people feel as good as a burger, you have yourself a breakthrough. Also, the study was sponsored by the McCormick Science Institute. Look in your spice cabinet. You’ll recognize the name. Then look to the left, grab the giant tub of Morton’s salt and take a grain of it as you consume the results of this research.

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