Tag Archive for diet

Healthy diet could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s,

A healthy diet of oily fish, fruit and vegetables could reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists.

The study found that old people with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins C, D, E and B suffered from less brain shrinkage and had higher scores on mental agility tests than those with low levels of the nutrients.

Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D are primarily found in oily fish, such as mackerel, while B vitamins and antioxidants C and E are primarily found in fruits and vegetables.

People whose blood had higher levels of trans fats, found mainly in cakes and fried foods, had the worst cognitive scores.

However, the nutrients did not seem to be effective when found in high concentrations in isolation, suggesting that simply taking fish oil capsules or taking vitamin C tablets may be less effective at protecting against cognitive decline than eating a balanced diet.

The brain typically shrinks by about 10 per cent each decade, even in healthy older people, and the rate of brain atrophy is known to be more rapid in those who go on to develop Alzheimer’s.

Scientists said the findings suggested that in the future dietary therapy could be used to delay the onset and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, although they added that further clinical trials would be needed to provide conclusive evidence.

There are currently 820,000 people in the UK affected by dementia but few treatments have been shown to be effective at preventing or slowing the rate of decline.

Professor Gene Bowman, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, who led the study, said: “If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, these are dietary patterns that you might want to seriously consider.”

The study, published today in the journal Neurology, involved 104 people with an average age of 87 and no diagnosed memory or thinking problems. Blood tests were used to determine the levels of various nutrients present in the blood of each participant. All of the participants also took tests of their memory and thinking skills and 42 had MRI scans to measure their brain volume.

The study suggested that a significant amount of the variation in both brain volume and thinking and memory scores could be explained by differences in nutrient. For the thinking and memory scores, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 17 per cent of the variation in the scores. Other factors such as age, number of years of education and high blood pressure accounted for 46 per cent of the variation.

For brain volume, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 37 per cent of the variation.

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” Professor Bowman said.

A second study, also published today in Neurology, showed that the rate of brain shrinkage is a useful marker for whether a person will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The ability to predict who will develop Alzheimer’s disease is a key target for dementia research, as it would allow new treatments to be trialled early, when they are more likely to be effective. These findings add weight to existing evidence that Alzheimer’s begins long before symptoms appear, although it’s important to note that the study did not assess who went on to develop the disease.”


Related – Vascular dementia

Reduced Salt And Food Labels

Salt Cuts – Read the Label

Salt increases blood pressure in 30 percent of the population that does not have high blood pressure. Salt does not increase blood pressure readings in 70 percent of the population that does not already have high blood pressure.

Data suggest that less-well-educated groups, and blacks, are more likely to have high blood pressure than are other groups. This may be related to the higher incidence of obesity, and the lower incidence of balanced diets, in the high-blood-pressure groups.

Government want to control everyone’s salt intake because the groups most at risk are also the groups least likely to take the advice to manage their high blood pressure by cutting down on salt.

There is a difference between wanting to provide information about salt content on menus or controlling salt in packaged foods, verses “control everyone’s salt intake”.

You are always free to tip the salt shaker as heavily as you want. Don’t complain about the nanny state if you can’t even be bothered to season your food to taste.

Omega 3 Fish Oil Better than Omega 3 from Flowers and Vegetables

Omega 3 Fish Oils – Something Fishy with New Legislation

If you buy various margarines and spreads such as sun flower and vegetable oil based spreads the labling will say they’re good for you because they contain Omega 3 oil.omega 3 fish oil

Now 20 of the world’s leading scientists who specialise in fats have signed a petition saying that the rules should be changed because that is misleading – Professor Jack Winkler of London Metropoloitan University has co-ordinated the petition and this interview is transcribed.

What’s happening is that some companies are putting vegetable or cheap  fish oils into their products and slapping a strong claim that they are high in omega 3 which implies that they will deliver the same health benfits for health and heart as the more expensive fish oils but they don’t.

The new regualtions make this legally permissable it would legalise the deception to consumers.

Fish Oils Best Omega 3? What about flowers and vegetable Oils?

You say fish oils – I thought that some of the omega 3 came from vegetables and plants such as sun flowers?

Thats right and they are cheaper – the companies want to use cheaper plant oils but use a claim that implies they are as good as more expensive fish oils and that is somehting that this new regualtion would make legally permissable even though it is substantively misleading.

Fish Oils Best for Omega 3s

The cheaper oils aren’t actually bad for you?

No – we actually want to claim – we have a big public health problem here – we eat too few of these healthy omega 3s – the best way to get them is to eat fish, but we don’t eat enough fish and we never will.

Add Omega 3 oil to food people like to eat

The second best way to do it is to take the food that people actually like to eat, and put the healthy omega 3s into them, fortify them. If we do that the companies will gain a commercial advantage and public health will be improved but we’ve got to have rules to make sure they do it properly and this rule will allow them to engage in trickery.

This rule is a European regulation and if it goes ahead things will effectively stay the same.

Claims such as “heart healthy omega 3 and 6” will still be able to be made even on cheap sun flower and vegetable oil based products.

When the new law came in in 2006 there was a transition period – so all claims that existed before the law could continue but that transition period expires on the 19th january 2010 – there is a rush to get legislation in place but are making a cods of it – technicla term in the fatty food science industry.

Rather than put “heart healthy omega 3” on the label we want them to be able to put “high in omega 3” but the only if they are the real omega 3s – the omega 3 from fish oil that deliver the cardiovascular benefits, the mental benefits.

If we do that then we give manufacturers the incentive to put good things into food – if they only put the cheap stuff in they shouldn’t be allowed to make the healthy claims.

Healthy Eating to Lower Blood Pressure | Diet

Blood pressure and Diet – Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

High blood pressure is a serious condition – it’s the major risk factor for stroke and heart attack – but there are so many ways to keep your blood pressure numbers to a healthy level, particularly through eating well and staying active.

Although many people with high blood pressure will need to take medication, eating healthily and reducing salt intake in particular can help medicines to work better, and can even reduce the amount of medicines needed.

Even people with healthy blood pressure numbers can make proactive choices – blood pressure tends to increase with age, so this will stand you in good stead for the future.

Eat your way to good blood pressure health:

What you eat and drink can play a major role in keeping your blood pressure healthy. In general, the healthier your diet is, the lower your blood pressure will be.

Salt is a key offender in raising blood pressure and most of us eat far too much of it – we should be eating less than 6g a day, but the majority of us are eating around 9g. All this extra salt makes our bodies hold onto excess water, which then raises blood pressure.

It’s not too hard to cut down on the white stuff – just try to shake less at the table and when cooking, and try to boost flavours with herbs and spices or seasonings like chilli, ginger or lemon juice instead.

But it’s also important to remember that around 80 per cent of the salt in our diets comes from manufactured foods, so beware the hidden salt in bread, breakfast cereals, and cheeses.

Healthy Eating Lowers Blood Pressure

  • Cutting down on salt and eating no more than 6g a day could lower blood pressure by 2-8mmHg.

Getting your five a day or fruit and vegetables is also excellent for your blood pressure health. You’ll not only be getting essential vitamins, minerals and fibre, but fruit and veg also contain potassium, which can help to balance out the negative effects of salt.

Some fruits and vegetables – such as bananas, asparagus or spinach – are particularly rich in potassium, but eating the same foods all the time can be a bit dull, and different foods have different nutrients, so we’d recommend getting a good variety.

  • Eating five, or ideally seven to nine, portions of fruit and vegetables a day can lower blood pressure by 7mmHg or more.

“Eating healthily and being active will also help you to keep to a healthy weight, which is good news for your blood pressure. And if you’re overweight a 10kg weight loss (i.e 22lbs) could help to lower your blood pressure by 5-10mmHg.”

A guide to blood pressure levels: Measure how healthy eating helps lower blood pressure.

One of the most common blood pressure questions is “what do the numbers mean?”

Less than 120/80mmHg – blood pressure is at the ‘optimal’ level so follow a healthy lifestyle to keep it that way

121/81 – 129/84mmHg – blood pressure is ‘average’ and you would benefit from lowering it

130/85 – 139/89mmHg – blood pressure is on the ‘high side of normal’ and should be lowered

140/90mmHg or above – if readings are consistently at or above this level you have high blood pressure, take action now to lower it

Eggs Lower Blood Pressure?

Until just a few years ago the British Heart Foundation advised people to eat no more than three eggs a week.

Fried eggs for breakfast could help keep blood pressure down, say researchers.

The UK public do not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat.

Scientists have discovered that eggs produce proteins that mimic the action of blood pressure lowering drugs.

Eggs reacte with  stomach enzymes to produce a protein that acts in the same way as blood pressure medications such as Ace inhibitors.

And fried eggs are especially beneficial.

It comes just days after nutritionists concluded that the type of cholesterol found in eggs has minimal effect on raising causes of heart disease such as high blood pressure.

But the British Nutrition Foundation concluded that it is healthy to go to work on an egg.

It is saturated fat, rather than the cholesterol found in eggs, that is the main dietary culprit in raising cholesterol levels. Smoking, being overweight and lack of exercise also influence blood fat and cholesterol levels, raise blood pressure and increase heart disease risk.

All in all eggs truly are the flavour for those suffering blood pressure – now we can justify our eggy guffs – eggy farts lower blood pressure

“The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected.

“People can be encouraged to include eggs in a healthy diet as they are one of nature’s most nutritionally dense foods.”