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Aug 27

Victoria’s Secret trainer blames this diet for making his model clients … – Fox News

If youve ever considered going on a diet, chances are youve contemplated a juice cleanse. It seems like practically every other fit celebrity and model has touted the miracle benefits of juicing as a way to detox your body and shed those pesky extra pounds. But as it turns out, these juice cleanses may not actually good for you.

Personal trainer Justin Gelband, who works with some of the most famous Victorias Secret models, including Karlie Kloss, Candice Swanepoel and Miranda Kerr, recently revealed that those fad juice cleanse diets can actually backfire.


“At Fashion Week some models went on a juice diet and didn’t tell me,” Gelband told Business Insider. “Not one lost weight, some actually gained weight. That got me in big trouble.”

A juice cleanse involves strict calorie restriction, consuming only fruit and vegetable liquids for anywhere from a few days to weeks. Popular juice companies claim that cleansing provides a number of benefits, like detoxing the liver, providing mental clarity and shedding a few pounds. But when you restrict calorie intake, your body can actually start holding onto extra calories, according to some experts.

“Once you stop eating enough food to meet your basic energy requirements, your metabolism will slow. For most people, that threshold of calorie intake is around 1,200 calories per day, registered dietitian Ilyse Schapirohe told Eat This.

Juicing also removes the beneficial parts of the fruits and vegetables. Youre getting rid of the fiber and a lot of the nutrition that is in the peel and the skin and youre leaving behind all that concentrated sugar, registered nutritionist Andy Bellatti told Business Insider.


So whats Gelbands trick to whipping models into shape and getting them runway-ready? He makes them eat. “Food is key to energy,” he said.

While Gelband says there is no one-size-fits-all diet, he is a fan of eating Paleo, which focusses on consuming foods that were around in the stone-age, like fruit, vegetables, roots and nuts.

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Victoria’s Secret trainer blames this diet for making his model clients … – Fox News

Aug 27

Overall wellness relies on a healthy, balanced diet – WZZM

Rhonda Ross, WZZM 6:00 AM. EDT August 27, 2017

Cardboard box of assorted vegetables on kitchen counter(Photo: Getty Images)

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – This may come as no surprise — but having a healthy diet plays a large role in overall wellness.And September is a good month to start thinking about getting in some extra fruits and veggies. That’s because it’s Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month.

Fun fact – Did you know that half of your plate (at every meal and snack) should consist of fruits and veggies?

Amy Ritemafrom OnSite Wellness joined the weekend morning news with some ways to get more fruits and veggies in your diet.

OnSite Wellness has certified dieticians on-staff that can guide companies and individuals towards living a healthy lifestyle through proper diet, fruit and veggie consumption. The OnSite Wellness team takes the time to establish relationships with clients to help them incorporate fruits and veggies into their daily routine.

OnSite Wellness is located at 3020 Charlevoix Dr SE in Grand Rapids. You can visit their website,

2017 WZZM-TV

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Overall wellness relies on a healthy, balanced diet – WZZM

Aug 27

Letter to the Editor: Plant-based diet, fewer children key to sustainable future – New Haven Register

Published 5:51pm, Saturday, August 26, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Plant-based diet, fewer children key to sustainable future

Dear former Vice President Al Gore:

At Friends of Animals, we laud Al Gore for his work on climate change, one of the most pressing issues of our time.

However, after seeing the An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, it would be more appropriately called the Inconvenient Half Truth.

In your efforts to give a voice to the truths of the climate movement that climate is changing due to human activity you focus on a shift to clean energy as the best way to solve the crisis, and thats not the whole truth.

For the climate movement to reach a tipping point, you have to address the fact that animal agriculture emits at least 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in carbon dioxide. In the U.S. the primary greenhouse gases emitted by animal farms have 20 times and 300 times the global warming potential of CO2 startling when you consider that 115 million pigs and 33 million cows are slaughtered in the U.S. every year.

And what about human overpopulation? Humans are the most overpopulated animals on the planet. Period.

The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of a child is almost 20 times more important than some of the environmentally sensitive practices people might employ their entire lives.

Friends of Animals is not anti-children; it is pro family planning and reducing the number of children we have voluntarily.

You address the powerful utility and mining lobbyists fighting against solar development and lament President Trumps decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

While those are obstacles to a sustainable future, there is nothing that can stop people from choosing a plant-based diet, having only one child, adopting a child or having no children at all. They are achievable call to actions. The government cant repress what people choose to put on their plates.

A combination of plant-based diets, smaller families and renewable energy is the trifecta of climate change to propel us into a sustainable future. And thats the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Priscilla Feral

President, Friends of Animals


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Letter to the Editor: Plant-based diet, fewer children key to sustainable future – New Haven Register

Aug 27

I Ditched The Paleo Diet And Lowered My Cholesterol 35 Points –

When you see the same ideas repeated over and over, they can start to sink in. Without ever fully connecting the dots, I started avoiding hummus and stocking up on coconut oil. My thinking (and eating habits) also got Paleo-washed in other ways. These are some examples of the ways the Paleo trendwhich emphasizes eating what our cavemen ancestors didinfluenced my perspective on nutrition:

These shifts snuck up on me gradually, though, and I rarely considered the drawbacks of these beliefs. If anything, I thought I was simply staying current with the latest and greatest nutritional wisdom. Even as I increased the number of skin-on chicken thighs and raw milk cheeses in my fridge, I was sure that my diet was far healthier than what most Americans were eating: I shunned fast food and highly-processed fare, and I lived by food activist and author Michael Pollans edict that you shouldnt eat anything your great grandmother wouldnt recognize. I ate a lot of farmers market vegetables cooked in plenty of butter. (Here are 7 things you should be buying at the farmers’ market but aren’t.)

But all the while, unbeknownst to me, my cholesterol was creeping up. Way up.

MORE: 12 Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally

I was shocked in May when my doctor brought up cholesterol-lowering medication after a blood test that showed my LDLthe bad cholesterolhad reached 187. She gave me six months to get my number down; if it hit 190, she’d put meon prescription medication.

This was right around the time the American Health Association issued a strongly-worded advisory about saturated fat, based on a review of the best and most up-to-date research. The gist was that saturated fat, in spite of recent media reports to the contrary, is still terrible for heart health.

After several years of headlines claiming that butter was back and that beef is a wholesome whole food, this warning was confusing, to say the least. Arguments discrediting the report cropped up all over the internet. (Buying 100% grass fed beef can be tricky. Here’s your ultimate guide to avoiding the fake stuff.)

But with my own heart health on the line, I decided to fully embrace conventional wisdom and follow the AHA’s advice. It seemed like the safest bet. I bid bye-bye to my stash of virgin coconut oil and grass-fed ghee and started following the tried, true, and unsexy advice about how to reduce cholesterol and improve heart health.

MORE: Surprise! These 6 Foods Are Great For Your Heart

Back to basicsOvernight, my diet went from vaguely Paleo-ish to mostly vegan. Though the AHA doesn’t specifically recommend a vegan diet, I wanted to go as far as possible to cut saturated fat and cholesterol (translation: meat and dairy) from my diet.

For the next two months, I ate as many cholesterol-lowering foods as possible, including the very thingslike oats, whole grains, beans, fruit, and soythat have been sworn off by much of the low-carb crowd. (Here are 6 slow cooker oatmeal recipes that will make your mornings a breeze.)

I gave up eggs for breakfast, favoring almond butter or avocado on sprouted wheat toast, oatmeal, or tofu scrambles. I quit cheese, milk, cream, and yogurt cold turkey. And I have eaten virtually no meatonly the occasional piece of wild salmon. (That’s less than the twice-a-week the AHA suggests we eat fish, but as much of the good stuff as my budget allows.)

Here’s how to know if the fish you eat is sustainable:

This approach to eating might sound dreary to some, but I actually love this food. I grew up vegetarian, so Ive never had hang-ups about needing meat to be satisfied with a meal. Ive reunited with some of my all-time favorite stapleshummus, tofu, pasta. (Make crispy pan fried tofu with these easy directions.) Before my cholesterol diagnosis, in the sway of the low-carb cult, my relationship with these ingredients had grown complicated. Now I felt free to love them again.

MORE: The Beginners Guide To Going Vegetarian Without Getting Sick

Within a few weeks, I was feeling better. I had more energy, for one thing. During stricter stints on a Paleo-style plan, I would wonder why my arms seemed so heavy during yoga classes or why I didnt want to walk anywhere. Without enough carbs, I felt weak and drained. It was only when toast came back into my life that I made the connection.

The most surprising part of the whole experience for me was that I lost weight while eating a substantial amount of pasta, bread, and beans. I had come to believe that this was impossible; that carbs are the enemy of weight management. Within a week, my stomach wasnt bloated for the first time in ages and my skin looked bright and clear. I thought the infernal Whole30 cleanse had a monopoly on these kinds of results?

Im not a patient person, so I wasn’t willing to wait six months for a new round of blood work to confirm what I was already feeling. I scheduled new tests after only 8 weeks, not expecting too much. I just thought a little movement in the right direction would be the encouragement I needed to stick with my new plan. (If you’re over 50, make sure you schedule these 5 blood tests.)

When the results came in and I saw I had dropped my LDL by a shocking 35 points, I was as proud of anything as Id ever been in my life. After being told repeatedly by my doctor and others that the high cholesterol was likely genetic, I felt like I had some agency over my own health again.

MORE:Exactly What One Woman Ate To Get Off Her Cholesterol Meds

My HDLthats the good cholesterolwas up 11 points as well. At 152, my LDL remains in the borderline high range. Id like to get it under 129 so I can move into the near optimal territory. And at this point, I have the information and tools I need to do just that.

I know there are many paths to well being and many ways to put together a healthy diet. Certainly, weve all heard testimonials from the Paleo camp about positive health outcomes, and I have no reason to doubt these stories. But for me, it’s clear that a plant-based diet is the foundation for good health.

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I Ditched The Paleo Diet And Lowered My Cholesterol 35 Points –

Aug 24

Why this diet praised by Jennifer Aniston could work for you – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Like many health trends, the alkaline diet started with a book and soared in popularity when celebrities began to tout its benefits.

The diet began with the book “The pH Miracle,” which was published in 2010. Victoria Beckham tweeted a photo of an alkaline diet cookbook in 2013, and celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have since sung its praises.

If you’ve heard about the diet and are wondering if its claims (and the celebrity hype) are true, here’s everything you need to know before giving it a try:

The basics of the Alkaline Diet

The goal of the Alkaline Diet is avoiding disease and losing weight. The dietclaims that you can do this by eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline, which increases the PH levels in your body, and by avoiding foods that make your body produce acid.

The theory behind the diet is that when your body metabolizes food, you produce byproducts that are either acidic or alkaline.According to Self, eating acidic foods is unhealthy, because it makes your body’s pH level too acidic, thus making it more vulnerable to disease.

The pH level measures how acidic or alkaline something is. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being totally acidic, 14 being totally alkaline, and seven being neutral. Your stomach, for example, is very acidic, because stomach acid is needed to break down food, while your blood remains quite constant with a slightly alkaline level (unless you’re extremely ill). Meanwhile, the pH of your urine changes constantly, reflecting what you eat.

Peas for a white bean stew with carrots, fennel and peas, boil in a pot in New York, March 6, 2017. White beans are welcome in any season, though this dish is perfect for spring, with its bright green peas. (Karsten Moran/The New York Times)JOHN KARSTEN MORAN/NYT

Which foods are encouraged?

You’d think that because lemons are acidic, they would be avoided under the Alkaline Diet’s guidelines. But, according to Self, it’s actually considered to be alkaline, since they’re broken down into an alkaline substance in our bodies. It all comes down to how foods affect the acidity of your urine.

If you want to follow the diet strictly,U.S. News & World Report says that 80 percent of your foods and beverages should be alkaline-forming and only 20 percent should be acid-forming. Many people are less strict and opt instead for a ratio of 60 percent alkaline-forming to 40 percent acid-forming.

The following foods are encouraged under the Alkaline Diet:

When you get a fresh batch of these rolls, youll wonder why you dont get this kind of bread more often. The perfect mix of yeast, sweetness, puff and steam. (23 N. Park Square, Marietta. 678-224-1599, Getz

Alkaline diet guidelines discourage consumption of the following foods and beverages:

Many experts (including those inU.S. News & World Report,Healthline andSelf) believe the diet may be able to help you lose weight and improve your health. But that’s because you’ll be eating more fruits and vegetables and less red meat, sugary snacks and processed foods not because of any claims about acidic or alkaline foods.

There’s no evidence that eating acidic or alkaline foods affects your weight or makes you any more or less prone to disease, experts say. Acidic or alkaline foods don’t change the pH of your blood, which stays within a very narrow range no matter what you eat. And these foods change the pH of your urine only temporarily.

Most dietitians encourage eatinglean meats, dairy and whole grains, which goes against their exclusion in alkaline diet.

Additionally, many of the experts cited n Healthline and Self, state that, like many restrictive diets, the alkainline diet may be impractical and difficult to follow over the long-term.

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Why this diet praised by Jennifer Aniston could work for you – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Aug 24

You Probably Don’t Need Extra Protein in Your Diet. Here’s Why – Healthline

The death of a female bodybuilder from Australia who was taking protein supplements has spotlighted concerns over excess protein in a persons diet.

The death of a female bodybuilder in Australia has raised questions about how much protein in a diet is too much.

Meegan Hefford, 25, mother of two, died in June due to complications from a high protein diet along with urea cycle disorder, a rare genetic condition.

Heffords death certificate lists intake of bodybuilding supplements as one of the causes, reports USA Today.

Days before her death, Hefford reported feeling weird, and had been fatigued, according to her mother.

She was later discovered unconscious in her apartment and rushed to the hospital. Even then, it took two more days for doctors to discover that she had urea cycle disorder.

In a functioning urea cycle, excess ammonia in the body is converted to urea and then excreted from the body through urine.

Urea cycle disorder affects only about 1 in 8,000 individuals. It results in the bodys inability to clear ammonia from the blood stream.

Once this buildup of ammonia (referred to as hyperammonemia) reaches the brain, it can cause confusion, dizziness, and slurred speech before leading to coma and, potentially, death.

According to the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation, the condition can occur in both children and adults. Babies are often quickly diagnosed because they may fall ill within the first 48 hours of birth.

However, in children and adults, symptoms may remain undiagnosed if not recognized early on.

The relationship between urea cycle disorder and protein certainly played a role in the death of Meegan Hefford.

When the body metabolizes protein, toxic byproducts such as ammonia are formed. Excess consumption of protein, combined with Heffords rare condition, made for a deadly combination.

There are others at greater risk of health complications if they are eating a high protein diet.

In an editorial this week, Kristin Kirkpatrick MS, RD, LD, a licensed, registered dietitian who is wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, explained that some individuals really do need less protein in their diets.

Individuals with chronic kidney disease, certain liver conditions, and phenylketonuria need to be careful with their protein intake.

On the other hand, athletes, pregnant and breastfeeding women, individuals recovering from surgery, and older adults should all ensure they are taking in a more-than-average amount.

But what does that even mean an average amount of protein?

The problem with current protein guidelines is that unlike other macronutritients (fat and carbohydrate), protein doesnt really have an upper limit for how much a person should consume in a day.

Kirkpatrick does give a simple calculation to get you in the ballpark.

Take your weight in kilograms multiplied by 0.8 (1 kilogram is equal to about 2.2 pounds). So, a 200-pound man should eat at least 75 grams of protein per day.

For the healthy individual, there may not be a need to double or triple daily protein intake, Kirkpatrick told Healthline. Protein can play a positive role in weight loss, but its important not to ignore other macronutrients that contribute to good health and weight, like healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.

She noted that a one-day protein binge probably isnt harmful, but a continual high-protein diet can put extra pressure on the kidneys and potentially increase the risk of some kinds of cancer.

Particularly in the fitness community, protein seems to have a reputation as a healthier macronutrient than carbohydrate and fat.

Its role in preserving and building muscle mass is well-known.

Still, there are healthier ways to consume protein than just chugging shakes or eating steaks.

Kirkpatrick specifies that the type of protein you eat really matters.

Protein comes from a variety of sources, including fish and plants. She cites a 2017 study that concluded plant-based protein sources helped in preventing type 2 diabetes, while red meat sources actually increased that risk.

Quinoa, beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts are all great sources for plant-based proteins.

Its also important to be aware of how processed the protein is that you are consuming.

Kirkpatrick recommends you consume proteins closer to their natural forms rather than in bars, shakes, or veggie burgers.

The more processed your protein (or any food really), the more likely it is to contain hidden sugars and unwanted ingredients.

The bottom line is that when it comes to protein, more is not necessarily better.

Your lifestyle, health, and activity levels should always be taken into consideration when considering altering your diet.

In the world of food, you can have too much of any good thing. Protein included, wrote Kirkpatrick.

You Probably Don’t Need Extra Protein in Your Diet. Here’s Why – Healthline

Aug 24

Utah boy had ‘orangey’ tint after being locked in basement, fed diet ‘largely of carrots’ –

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EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah A married Utah couple face felony child abuse charges after they allegedly forced a young boy to stay in a small room with no lights or access to a bathroom and fed him a diet that “consisted largely of carrots.”

According to a recently unsealed warrant detailing the boy’s horrific living conditions, the his skin had even taken on an orange-colored tint.

Police arrested 27-year-old Clarissa Anne Tobiasson and her husband, 31-year-old Brett Parker Tobiasson, in early August on charges of child abuse.

The arrests followed several months of investigation by the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, who interviewed witnesses and victims in the case. Police learned a 6-year-old boy, who was 5 at the time the alleged abuse began, would be locked in a basement room at night.

The small basement room had no lights and a loose carpet over the floor. The boy was only given a mattress and blanket to sleep with, and he would be locked in that room from about 6 or 7 p.m. each night until after 6 a.m. the next morning, authorities said.

“The boy described that he would go to the bathroom while in the room and put the waste in a hole in a wall so he would not get in trouble,” according to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators allege the boy “was fed a diet that consisted largely of carrots.”

“He would be required to eat carrots before every meal and if he did not finish them with a certain time limit he would not be allowed to eat the rest of the meal,” the release states. “In another instance he was disciplined for eating samples at a local store when he knew he was supposed to eat carrots before eating anything else.”

According to the arrest warrant, “awitness stated while at the home they noticed the child had an ‘orangey’ tint to his skin.”

The witness brought pizza for dinner that evening, but Clarissa told the boy he couldn’t eat any unless he ate all his carrots within a 15-minute time limit, according to the warrant. When he couldn’t finish in time, he wasn’t allowed to have any pizza.

The woman told police her stay at the house was the “worst four days of her life.”

Police state the 6-year-old victim was adopted by the couple, as was his 2-year-old brother. The couple also has a 2-month-old girl.

The young boy is now in the care of his grandmother, while the 2-year-old and 2-month-old are in the custody of the Division of Child and Family Services.

The Tobiassons were booked into jail on one count each of child abuse as second-degree felony. Bail has been set at $10,000.

“In this case ‘serious physical injury’ is defined by statute as anything that ’causes serious emotional harm to the child’ or ‘any conduct toward a child that results in severe emotional harm, severe developmental delay or intellectual disability, or severe impairment of the child’s ability to function,'” the release states regarding the charges brought against the couple.

The Tobiassons’ next court date is Sept. 14.

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Utah boy had ‘orangey’ tint after being locked in basement, fed diet ‘largely of carrots’ –

Aug 24

Patriots news: Rob Gronkowski changes diet, feeling good during preseason games – ClutchPoints

Rob Gronkowskis career so far could be defined by his pass-catching talent and inability to stay healthy.

Realizing that hes not getting any younger, the 28-year-old New England tight end is changing his habits in hopes of keeping his body in shape for another brutal NFL season, and that includes altering his eating ways according to ESPNs Mark Reiss.

This is just one part of the new outlook for Gronkowski, as he has made some other notable changes in returning from a third career back surgery. Specifically, hes adopted parts of Tom Bradys diet, while making a full-scale commitment to other physical-based work at Bradys Sports Therapy Center (in addition to his regular load in the teams strength program).

Copying Bradys diet, of course, requires Gronkowski to avoid consuming alcoholic and caffeine-based beverages. That doesnt sound like an easy task for a party-animal like Gronkowski, but thats something hed willingly give up if it meant being 100 percent healthy.

He was healthy enough to experience his first preseason game since 2012, as he took part in 14 snaps during the Pats 27-23 loss to the Houston Texans last Saturday.

Im glad I was out there, he said. It felt good just to get the game speed. You can never get enough reps. You can never get enough practice reps. So it felt great to go out there and get my feet wet and see what its all about again.

Gronkowski hasnt played a complete season since 2011, missing at least a game in each of the succeeding five years. He missed the most time in 2016, when a back injury cost him half the season.

With Martellus Bennett gone, the success of the tight end position for the Patriots mostly rests on the shoulders of Gronkowski, who, when playing is close to unstoppable. The Arizona product had 540 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions on just 25 catches in eight games played last season.

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Patriots news: Rob Gronkowski changes diet, feeling good during preseason games – ClutchPoints

Aug 24

Padma Lakshmi opens up about the impact her diet has had on her daughter –




Padma Lakshmi has gotten used to fluctuations in her weight as part of her job as the host of Bravo’s Emmy-nominated “Top Chef,” but she has recently discovered that it’s not just her who is impacted by her body image.

In an essay for The Hollywood Reporter, Lakshmi, 46, wrote about the weight gain from her job and the effects her constant focus on her dress size for red carpet events has had on her young daughter, Krishna.

Padma Lakshmi has opened up about how her focus on dieting and body image has had some negative effects on her young daughter.

“Recently, I realized my daughter, who is 7, has been listening to me talk about my weight,” she wrote. “She’s noticed, and suddenly she’s told me and others in our circle, ‘I don’t want to eat because I’m watching my figure,’ or, ‘I weigh too much.’ I wasn’t thinking anything of the sort when I was 7 or 10 or even 13.”

Lakshmi noted how she will only have a taco salad without tortillas or sour cream on family taco night or leftovers of brown rice when they order pizza. Her daughter began to notice and started remarking about her own figure.

“Her comments stopped me dead in my tracks,” Lakshmi wrote. “Her words scared me. Language matters. We send signals to our daughters every day. And I am her first touchstone of femininity.”

Lakshmi’s job of tasting food from 15 to 18 contestants every day for “Top Chef” guarantees that her weight will fluctuate between when the show is filming and her time off.

“When filming “Top Chef,” I consume about 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day,” she wrote. “I typically gain anywhere from 10 to 17 pounds every season. Once I get home, what’s taken me six weeks to gain takes me 12 weeks to take off.”

Part of the show’s success involves walking the red carpet at events, where Lakshmi admittedly can get stressed over body image issues.

“It’s always a nail-biting extravaganza at fittings, praying that a few pretty dresses that came down the runway on a teenage model who is a size 0 will miraculously fit my 40-something body,” she wrote. “Getting ready for the Emmys is always fun, and it’s truly an honor to be nominated. But at the same time, in spite of my high metabolism, I worry each year that I’m not going to fit into anything nice.”

Lakshmi’s recent experience with her daughter has changed her thinking going forward.

“So, this year, I’ve decided my weight will not be my focus,” she wrote. “If I need a bigger dress, so be it. That one day or any day on the red carpet isn’t nearly as important as making sure my daughter doesn’t measure her worth by her dress size.”

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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Padma Lakshmi opens up about the impact her diet has had on her daughter –

Aug 24

Nitty-gritty of Homo naledi’s diet revealed in its teeth – Science News Magazine

Give Homo naledi credit for originality. The fossils of this humanlike species previously revealed an unexpectedly peculiar body plan. Now its pockmarked teeth speak to an unusually hard-edged diet.

H. naledi displays a much higher rate of chipped teeth than other members of the human evolutionary family that once occupied the same region of South Africa, say biological anthropologist Ian Towle and colleagues. Dental damage of this kind results from frequent biting and chewing on hard or gritty objects, such as raw tubers dug out of the ground, the scientists report in the September American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

A diet containing hard and resistant foods like nuts and seeds, or contaminants such as grit, is most likely for H.naledi, says Towle, of Liverpool John Moores University in England.

Extensive tooth chipping shows that something unusual is going on with H. naledis diet, says paleoanthropologist Peter Ungar of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He directs ongoing microscopic studies of H. naledis teeth that may provide clues to what this novel species ate.

This bar graph shows reported chipping rates for teeth from some living primates and fossil hominids. Homo naledi displays particularly high rates of chipping.

Source: I. Towle et al/Amer. J. of Phys. Anthro. 2017

Grit from surrounding soil can coat nutrient-rich, underground plant parts, including tubers and roots. Regularly eating those things can cause the type of chipping found on H. naledi teeth, says paleobiologist Paul Constantino of Saint Michaels College in Colchester, Vt. Many animals cannot access these underground plants, but primates can, especially if they use digging sticks.

H. naledi fossils, first found in South Africas subterranean Dinaledi Chamber and later a second nearby cave (SN: 6/10/17, p. 6), came from a species that lived between 236,000 and 335,000 years ago. It had a largely humanlike lower body, a relatively small brain and curved fingers suited for climbing trees.

Towles group studied 126 of 156 permanent H. naledi teeth found in Dinaledi Chamber. Those finds come from a minimum of 15 individuals, 12 of whom had at least one chipped chopper. Two of the remaining three individuals were represented by only one tooth. Teeth excluded from the study were damaged, had not erupted above the gum surface or showed signs of having rarely been used for chewing food.

Chips appear on 56, or about 44 percent, of H. naledi teeth from Dinaledi Chamber, Towles team says. Half of those specimens sustained two or more chips. About 54 percent of molars and 44 percent of premolars, both found toward the back of the mouth, display at least one chip. For teeth at the front of the mouth, those figures fell to 25 percent for canines and 33 percent for incisors.

Chewing on small, hard objects must have caused all those chips, Towle says. Using teeth as tools, say to grasp animal hides, mainly damages front teeth, not cheek teeth as in H. naledi. Homemade toothpicks produce marks between teeth unlike those on the H. naledi finds.

Two South African hominids from between roughly 1 million and 3 million years ago, Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus, show lower rates of tooth chipping than H. naledi, at about 21 percent and 13 percent, respectively, the investigators find. Researchers have suspected for decades that those species ate hard or gritty foods, although ancient menus are difficult to reconstruct (SN: 6/4/11, p. 8). Little evidence exists on the extent of tooth chipping in ancient Homo species. But if H. naledi consumed underground plants, Stone Age Homo sapiens in Africa likely did as well, Constantino says.

In further tooth comparisons with living primates, baboons consumers of underground plants and hard-shelled fruits showed the greatest similarity to H. naledi, with fractures on 25 percent of their teeth. That figure reached only about 11 percent in gorillas and 5 percent in chimpanzees.

Human teeth found at sites in Italy, Morocco and the United States show rates and patterns of tooth fractures similar to H. naledi, he adds. Two of those sites date to between 1,000 and 1,700 years ago. The third site, in Morocco, dates to between 11,000 and 12,000 years ago. People at all three sites are suspected to have had diets unusually heavy on gritty or hard-shelled foods, the scientists say.

Chips mar 50 percent of H. naledis right teeth, versus 38 percent of its left teeth. That right-side tilt might signify that the Dinaledi crowd were mostly right-handers who typically placed food on the right side of their mouths. But more fossil teeth are needed to evaluate that possibility, Towle cautions.

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Nitty-gritty of Homo naledi’s diet revealed in its teeth – Science News Magazine

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