The Australian government has come out with an initiative to make healthy lifestyle choices less overwhelming. It’s called: “Swap It, Don’t Stop It” and provides the message that all foods and activities can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. They provide suggestions for making healthier food choices and physical activity choices as well as resources such as planners, an app, and links.
Tomorrow is Food Revolution Day and the theme is “Cook it. Share it. Live it.”. The website has links to events happening around the world. Even if there’s no official event happening in your community try to prepare at least one meal yourself/with your family and incorporate as many locally grown/produced ingredients as possible. And mark your calendar for 2014 so that you can become involved with, or spearhead, an event in your community.
An article in the New York Times refers to a recent study that showed we consume most of our added sugar in solid foods rather than from sugar sweetened beverages. I’d like to point out that the sugar and calories in beverages tend to come with little or no additional nutrients. This may or may not be the case with foods. The calories in beverages also tend to be less satiating than the calories in foods.
The author suggests looking at where sugar is listed on the ingredient list as ingredients are listed by weight. Yes, this is true but the problem is that sugar is now frequently listed in numerous forms in the ingredient list. You should probably take the time to scroll through the entire ingredient list to see how many different forms of sugar are included. Here’s a link to a list of the many names that sugar takes. It makes grocery shopping more time-consuming and complicated to do read labels thoroughly but it’s worth it for your health. Another trick: try purchasing/growing as many foods without food labels as possible and cooking your own meals so that you can be in as much control of what goes on your plate and in your mouth as possible.
The California Walnut Board’s been busy lately. The latest study funded by them, to be published in the June issue of The Journal of Nutrition, found that consumption of whole walnuts and walnut oil had a positive effect on blood vessel function following a meal as well as improving the effectiveness of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). This is all lovely but I have a few questions.
I wonder how walnuts and walnut oil fare in comparison to other nuts and oils. I also wonder if there are any long-term implications for these findings. A short-term effect of consumption of a food, both positive and negative, means little in the big picture. Sure, it may very well be true that consumption of walnuts improves cardiovascular health but such a small study (only 15 participants) over such a short period of time: 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, four hours and six hours after administration of treatments really doesn’t tell us much about the impact of walnut consumption on long-term health.
I complain about unscientific practices a lot but science like this is just as bad. Give me a large, long-term, double-blind, study with unbiased researchers and then we can talk about the miracles of walnuts.
Apparently posting photos of your food online is the latest indication of an eating disorder. The idea is that frequent postings of food photos is an indication of food playing an extensive role in your life. Interesting theory.
The people I know who are posting food photos are those whose work is related to food. That would include myself. While I appreciate that some people find the posting of food photos to be annoying (sorry guys… I’m not going to stop), I know that others enjoy seeing them and we can often be inspired by seeing each others meals.
Until I see some research to back-up these claims that posting food photos is related to unhealthy relationships with food I’m going to conclude that this must have been a slow news day as it seems to be a fairly inane article.