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Jun 3

How to live longer – the cheap spice to lower your risk of early death and bowel cancer – Express

You could lower your risk of an early death by eating a healthy, balanced diet, including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, said the NHS.

Regular exercise is also crucial for boosting your lifespan. Everyone should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

But making some small dietary changes could also help to increase your life expectancy.

One of the best ways to protect against an early death is to add more ginger to your diet, it's been revealed.

READ MORE: How to live longer - tiny food type to boost life expectancy

Studies show ginger fights nausea, stimulates bile production, relieve stomach discomfort, and speeds transit through the digestive tract, they said in their book Eat Better Live Longer - Understand What Your Body Needs To Stay Healthy.

It also helps to break up and dispel intestinal gas, to counter bloating.

Gingers strong anti-inflammatory action may help to relieve pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, they said.

A review of five studies found taking ginger reduced pain by nearly a third and disability by 22 percent in people with osteoarthritis.

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How to live longer - the cheap spice to lower your risk of early death and bowel cancer - Express

Jun 3

Weight loss: Five breakfast ideas to help you burn belly fat – what are they? – Express

Breakfast foods are good sources of important nutrients such as calcium, iron as well as protein and fibre.

It is protein and fibrous meals that will help you burn belly fat. Fibre helps you keep full but tends to be in foods that are low in calories and when you eat high fibre foods, you have less room in your diet for foods that are not as nutrient dense, like refined carbohydrates.

When you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. When you eat breakfast, you activate a process called thermogenesis which stimulates your metabolism.

Eating a big meal at breakfast will keep you fuller for longer which will mean you will be less inclined to snack throughout the day, reducing your overall daily intake.

READ MORE:Mediterranean diet: Expert reveals how to lose weight without cutting out favourite foods


Incorporating this high fibre fruit into your breakfast meals is a great alternative to sugary breakfast cereals because a banana will still satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning.

One medium sized banana has just over 100 calories but contains 12 percent of your daily fibre needs. Fibre helps slow the emptying of the stomach to curb cravings and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Bananas are also a good source of resistant starch, a type of starch that your stomach and small intestine dont digest. Research suggests that resistant starch may help reduce food intake and reduce belly fat.


Fruits including berries like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries have very few calories but are packed with fibre. Eating these with your breakfast will help you stay full until lunch time.

Berries are packed with antioxidants which help regulate blood sugar levels and keep sugar from being sent to your fat cells.

Research shows people who eat more antioxidants, especially in the morning have better success with weight management.

You can add berries to a smoothie or you can top porridge with berries to make a super healthy breakfast meal.


The high fat content present in avocados causes many to avoid the food. However theyre packed with healthy fats, which every breakfast needs.

They contain both fibre and oleic acid, which help alleviate the feelings of hunger and you can incorporate avocado into your breakfast very easily.

You can have avocado on toast or you could even blitz it up in a smoothie which creates a creamy taste.

Avocados are also burned at a higher rate than any other type of fat and they can cause your body to continue to burn more calories even after eating.

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Weight loss: Five breakfast ideas to help you burn belly fat - what are they? - Express

Jun 3

Cranberries may enhance metabolic and liver benefits of weight loss diet: RCT –

NAFLD is the most prevalent liver abnormality in Western countries and parallels the epidemic of metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes. Frequently disabling and occasionally leading to cirrhosis, fatty liver disease currentlycosts the US health care system about $32 billion annually.

The new double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial used 288mg per day of a cranberry extract for 12 weeks, which is equivalent to 26g of dried cranberry.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first randomised clinical trial that has investigated the effect of cranberry consumption on NAFLD characteristics, wrote the authors in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

As the most common liver disease, NAFLD is usually associated with underactivity and overnutrition, visceral obesity, insulin resistance, dysglycemia, and dyslipidemia. In managing NAFLD, a dietary change is essential for decreasing body weight, improving metabolic status, and normalising biochemical parameters.

In this study, we found that co-administering cranberry with a weight loss diet for 12weeks improves conditions by reducing ALT, insulin, and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in patients with NAFLD.

Researchers from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran recruited 41 people with NAFLD to participate in their study. All participants were assigned to the same weight loss diet, but 20 were given the additional cranberry supplement, while the other 21 received placebo for 12 weeks.

Results showed that both groups experienced improvements in steatosis grade (the amount of fat in the liver) and anthropometric measurements (weight, BMI, body fat, waist circumference, hip circumference, and visceral adiposity index), with no differences between the groups for these measures.

Both groups also displayed reductions in ALT (alanine aminotransferase), a key liver enzyme, but the reductions were significantly greater in cranberry group versus placebo.

Insulin also decreased significantly in both groups, with the cranberry arm of the study again showing greater decreases, compared to placebo.

Both groups also displayed significant improvements in HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance, but the cranberry group experienced significantly greater improvements compared to placebo.

Also, there was an improvement in steatosis grade and anthropometric measurements in both groups (p<.05), and there was no significant difference between the two groups in regard to these factors (p>.05). It seems that 288mg of cranberry extract might improve managing NAFLD, which is equivalent to 26g of dried cranberry.

Many pharmaceutical agents have been investigated specifically for the treatment of fatty liver. However, the beneficial effects of intaking herbal extracts along with complementary medicine in NAFLD patients have received considerable attention in recent years, wrote the researchers.The use of this management strategy has many advantages, including minimal side effects and wide application due to worldwide availability and low treatment costs.

Source: International Journal of Food Sciences and NutritionPublished online ahead of print, doi: 10.1080/09637486.2020.1746957 Combined cranberry supplementation and weight loss diet in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trialAuthors: R. Hormoznejad, et al.

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Cranberries may enhance metabolic and liver benefits of weight loss diet: RCT -

Jun 2

Identical twins compared vegan diet with meat-eating and exercise – Insider – INSIDER

The Turner twins have climbed a mountain and trekked to the most inaccessible points on every continent, all in the name of research, charitable causes, and exploration. For their latest adventure, brothers Hugo and Ross Turner trekked into even more fraught territory comparing the effects of a vegan diet to an omnivorous diet on two genetically identical people.

The Turners decided to study the two eating styles side by side over a 12-week fitness training regime from January to March this year. They were inspired by the growing popularity (and sometimes controversy) of vegan diets for athletes, following documentaries like "The Game Changers," according to Ross.

"We wanted to take bias and opinion out of it and take down to the genetic level. We can get science involved because we're twins and genetically identical, so we can compare ourselves in extreme environments," Ross told Insider.

The pair monitored how they felt during the course of the experiment and were followed by researchers from King's College, who tracked basic health metrics like weight, cholesterol, and muscle mass.

Both twins did endurance training at the gym five to six times a week, using a program designed by Ross, a personal trainer. They also ate an almost identical number of calories in meals prepared by the Mindful Chef delivery service.

By the end, they noticed some big differences in terms of muscle gains, fat loss, and digestive health.

Before giving up animal products for the experiment, Hugo weighed in about 185 pounds and 13% body fat. After about a month on the vegan diet, he said he had dropped nearly nine pounds. By the end of the experiment, he measured in at 181 pounds. Nearly all the weight lost was fat mass, with his overall body-fat composition dipping by a full percentage point, to 12%. His cholesterol levels also dropped.

Even more striking were his energy levels. Hugo said he felt significantly more alert during his lunchtime gym sessions, compared with his typical routine.

"On a vegan diet my mental focus was much better, I didn't have the mid-afternoon energy dips, and felt a bit more charged," he told Insider.

He said one explanation could be how the vegan diet changing his snacking habits. Since biscuits and chips aren't vegan, he'd switched to mainly fruit and nuts.

Hugo noticed one exception to his higher energy levels his libido, which he said dropped off sharply.

"I just lost it I really don't know what happened," he said, adding that his experience may not be true for everyone.

The twins did not conduct blood tests during the experiment, but said they would do so if they tried something similar in the future. They could measure testosterone, for example, to see if it explains some of the changes.

One of the meals Hugo Turner ate in the 12-week vegan-diet experiment, a buckwheat pizza with mushrooms. Mindful Chef

Ross has always been the slightly bigger of the brothers, and this was exacerbated by the experiment. From starting around 13% body fat, he put on 10 pounds of muscle, in addition to just over four pounds of fat. That brought his overall body fat percentage up slightly, to 15%, and his final weigh-in to 189 pounds.

His cholesterol levels stayed consistent throughout the 12-week duration.

Ross said the meal plan for this experiment was slightly more varied than his typical diet, and extremely balanced in terms of macronutrients, with array of chicken, fish, red meat, veggies, dairy, and grains.

Before this, a typical day of eating for the twins would include toast or porridge for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and some version of chicken, veggies, or pasta for dinner.

For Hugo, the dietary change was even more significant, since his usual animal-based protein was swapped out for things like tofu, tempeh (fermented soybeans), and jackfruit.

"Eating a vegan diet, you almost have to overcompensate with variety, so I was eating foods I wasn't really used to," Hugo said.

As a result, his gut microbiome the populations of beneficial bacteria that live in the human digestive system also changed in some interesting ways, based on fecal samples analyzed by Atlas Biomed before and after the experiment.

The changes potentially improved Hugo's resilience to some forms of chronic illness, according to the analysis, lowering his risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. That supports previous research suggesting plant-based diets could reduce the risk of those conditions by improving the microbiome.

But to their surprise, both brothers saw a decrease in their microbial diversity, or the number of different bacteria species present in the gut. That's generally linked to less resilience against some types of chronic illness such as Crohn's disease.

Although Ross' microbiome changed slightly, it remained much more consistent than his brother's.

It's not clear why those changes occurred, although the Turners hypothesized that the abrupt change to a vegan diet, and the relatively short duration of the experiment, might have been factors.

One caveat of the experiment, the Turners said, was that 12 weeks wasn't a long time for a typical dietary study. If they could do it over, the brothers said they're prefer to trial the diets for six months to a year for better data.

But the brothers said they've learned a lot and plan to incorporate more plant-based eating in their lifestyle. The brothers are known for their endurance expeditions and want to test how vegan eating might benefits them on their treks.

"You lose about half a kilo of weight a day on an endurance trip, more than that if you're carrying extra weight, so we like to be lean and mean nothing in between on the trip," Hugo said.

He added that being forced to find vegan alternatives also greatly expanded his world of food options.

"One thing to come out of this is we don't eat nearly enough variety of foods. Often, we kind of just disguise the same foods in different forms," Hugo said. "But variety is the spice of life."

Ross said that there tends to be a reluctance for meat eaters to try vegan foods, and he hopes this experiment will encourage dedicated omnivores to branch out, since many plant-based substitutes like vegan burgers are similar in taste and texture to the classics.

If you're curious about trying veganism, he added, you don't to go "cold tofu" and jump in all at once. Based on his experience, Hugo recommends starting with your snacking habits, and swapping out between-meal treats with vegan options.

The twins concluded that their optimal diet is a mix of plant- and animal-based foods.

"Having a vegan diet has benefits and so does eating meat. I don't think either outshone the other here," he said. "We'll be doing a mix of both, having non-meat days and adding more vegan foods into our diet, eating better-quality meat and less of it. We've taken away the best of both worlds."

Read more:

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See the rest here:
Identical twins compared vegan diet with meat-eating and exercise - Insider - INSIDER

Jun 2

Edible Flakes Market 2019-2023 | Adoption of Healthy Diet to Boost Growth | Technavio – Business Wire

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio has been monitoring the edible flakes market and it is poised to grow by USD 8.3 billion during 2019-2023, progressing at a CAGR of about 8% during the forecast period. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment.

Technavio suggests three forecast scenarios (optimistic, probable, and pessimistic) considering the impact of COVID-19. Please Request Latest Free Sample Report on COVID-19 Impact

The market is moderately fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. Bagrrys India Ltd., Dr. August Oetker KG, General Mills Inc., Kellogg Co., Marico Ltd., Natures Path Foods Inc., Nestl SA, PepsiCo Inc., Post Holdings Inc., and The Hain Celestial Group Inc. are some of the major market participants. Although the adoption of healthy diet will offer immense growth opportunities, the intense competition will challenge the growth of the market participants. To make the most of the opportunities, market vendors should focus more on the growth prospects in the fast-growing segments, while maintaining their positions in the slow-growing segments.

The adoption of healthy diet has been instrumental in driving the growth of the market. However, intense competition might hamper market growth.

Edible Flakes Market 2019-2023: Segmentation

Edible Flakes Market is segmented as below:

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Edible Flakes Market 2019-2023: Scope

Technavio presents a detailed picture of the market by the way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources. Our edible flakes market report covers the following areas:

This study identifies an increase in the use of edible flakes in snack products as one of the prime reasons driving the edible flakes market growth during the next few years.

Edible Flakes Market 2019-2023: Vendor Analysis

We provide a detailed analysis of around 25 vendors operating in the Edible Flakes Market, including some of the vendors such as Bagrrys India Ltd., Dr. August Oetker KG, General Mills Inc., Kellogg Co., Marico Ltd., Natures Path Foods Inc., Nestl SA, PepsiCo Inc., Post Holdings Inc., and The Hain Celestial Group Inc. Backed with competitive intelligence and benchmarking, our research reports on the Edible Flakes Market are designed to provide entry support, customer profile and M&As as well as go-to-market strategy support.

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Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focus on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions. With over 500 specialized analysts, Technavios report library consists of more than 17,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies, spanning across 50 countries. Their client base consists of enterprises of all sizes, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. This growing client base relies on Technavios comprehensive coverage, extensive research, and actionable market insights to identify opportunities in existing and potential markets and assess their competitive positions within changing market scenarios.

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Edible Flakes Market 2019-2023 | Adoption of Healthy Diet to Boost Growth | Technavio - Business Wire

Jun 2

Dietary Intervention Cuts Mood Swings, Other Bipolar Symptoms – Medscape

A nutritional intervention with a focus on fatty acids appears to reduce mood swings in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) when used as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy, early research suggests.

Erika Saunders, MD

In a single-center study, patients with BD who received a diet consisting of high omega-3 plus low omega-6 fatty acids (H3-L6), in addition to usual care, showed significant reductions in mood variability, irritability, and pain compared with their counterparts who received a diet with usual levels of omega-3 and omega-6fatty acids commonly consumed in regular US diets.

"Our findings need replication and validation in other studies," study co-investigator Erika Saunders, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, told Medscape Medical News.

"While we got really exciting findings, it's far from confirmatory or the last word on the subject. The fatty acids do two broad things. They incorporate into the membranes of neurons in the brain and they also create signaling molecules throughout the brain and the body that interact with the immune system and the inflammatory system. And we suspect that it is through those mechanisms that this composition of fatty acids is having an effect on mood stability, but lots more work needs to be done to figure that out," Saunders added.

The findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP) 2020 Virtual Conference.

Many patients with BD do not achieve complete mood stability with medication, making the need for additional treatments imperative, she added.

"We were interested in looking at treatments that improved mood stability in bipolar disorder that are well-tolerated by patients and that can be added to pharmacological treatments. We studied this particular nutritional intervention because biologically it does some of the same things that effective medications for bipolar disorder do and it has been investigated as an effective treatment for conditions like migraine headaches, which has a lot of overlap and comorbidity with bipolar disorder."

The researchers randomized 41 patients with BD to receive the nutritional intervention of high omega-3 plus low omega-6(H3-L6) and 41 patients with BD to receive a control diet of usual US levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The patients ranged in age from 20 to 75 years (mean age, 43.5 +/- 13.9 years) and 83% were women. They had similar mean levels of mood symptoms and pain.

All patients received group-specific study foods and oils, as well as intensive dietary counseling from a dietician, access to a website with recipes, and guidance for eating in restaurants. All participants were blinded to the composition of the food that they were eating.

Both the interventional diet and the control diet were tailored for the purposes of the study, noted co-investigator Sarah Shahriar, BS, Penn State College of Medicine.

"The interventional group had more fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, while the control group had more white fish and fish with less fatty acid content. The interventional group also received a different type of cooking oil, which was a blend of olive and macadamia nut oil, which was specially formulated by a research nutritional service at the University of North Carolina (UNC)," Shahriar told Medscape Medical News.

Sarah Shahriar, BS

"They also decreased their red meat consumption and received specially formulated snack foods, which were specifically prepared by UNC's research nutritional service. It is important to point out that these diets were for a very specific purpose. We are not saying in any way shape or form that this particular nutritional intervention is good in general," she added.

After 12 weeks, significant reductions were seen in mood variability, energy, irritability, and pain in the H3-L6 group (P < .001). The only symptom that was significantly lowered in the control group was impulsive thoughts (P = .004).

"The best message for doctors to tell their patients at this point is one of general nutritional health and the importance of nutrition in overall body and brain health, and that that can be a very important component of mood," Saunders said.

"Highly unsaturated fatty acids areimportant components of neuronal cell membranes and in cell signaling," Jessica M. Gannon, MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, who was not part of the study, told Medscape Medical News.

Jessica M. Gannon, MD

"Omega-6 fatty acids are precursors to pro-inflammatory compounds. Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are thought to be competitive inhibitors of omega-6 and thought to have anti-inflammatory effects. Supplementation with omega-3 has been explored in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and in rheumatologic disorders as well as in a host of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorders, where a possible treatment effect has been suggested," Gannon said.

Dietary interventions targeting not only increasing omega-3 but also decreasing consumption of omega-6 rich foods could be both effective and attractive to patients invested in a healthy lifestyle for promotion of mental health, especially when they are not optimally controlled by prescribed medications, she added.

"This study suggests that such an intervention could prove beneficial, although significant patient support may be necessary to assure adherence to the diet. Patient mood monitoring through a patient's own personal electronic devices may also enhance buy-in. I would agree that future studies would be worth pursuing," Gannon said.

The investigators and Gannon have reported no relevant financial relationships.

American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP) 2020. Abstract 3002415. Presented May 29, 2020.

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Dietary Intervention Cuts Mood Swings, Other Bipolar Symptoms - Medscape

Jun 2

Dogs need a balanced diet, too – here’s how to get it right – The Guardian

Like us, our dogs should be eating the right foods for their bodies. Also like us, while they might enjoy eating hot chips for every meal, thats going to have a negative impact on their wellbeing.

What dogs tell us they want is not always what they need. We shouldnt allow those puppy-dog eyes at the dinner table to sway our feeding decisions, but instead look at some key indicators more closely related to their health.

Dr Lee Danks, a technical services veterinarian at Black Hawk, says there are some common misconceptions when it comes to our understanding of the way our dogs eat. The first is that food equals love, he says.

We might imagine that sharing our meals with our dogs helps them feel happy and secure, but we often forget that it can send mixed messages when they cant distinguish this from their everyday meal of dog food, particularly when human foods are given irregularly, when the food is varied, and the precious resource of food is intertwined with another resource: social interaction. We often dont account for the extra calories too, and that can have long-term health implications.

Adding anything that isnt complete and balanced, such as table scraps, can throw your pets diet out of whack. Photograph: Justin Paget/Getty Images.

While meal sharing does build social bonds, just as it does when we have a lovely dinner party with our friends, its also going to do them more harm than good if were not completely aware of the impact, Danks says. Given the opportunity, dogs will often overeat, and its our responsibility to protect them from that.

We may think, my dog is following me about, therefore they want food, but this is a learned behaviour. Begging is something that we train into our animals. Understanding what they actually need is a different story.

An early indicator is palatability, Danks says. In other words, how appealing the food is to the dog, including its taste and texture. There are a few reasons why your dog might suddenly go off their food.

It could be that their preferences have changed. Sometimes food is not being stored properly, which can change the food to lose some of its flavour.

A few days without a meal can affect a dogs wellbeing, and they start to break down their own body tissue. If a fresh bag doesnt do the trick, it might be worth trying a new product.

Other reasons might be revealed through a home health check. Danks says if body weight travels up or down , it can be a reminder to look at what they are eating, and how much theyre getting. If muscle drops away, we wonder if they are getting the amino acids and proteins, or ingredients like meat, that drive maintenance of lean muscle mass.

Danks also says to watch out for something he calls pick-up-ability.

The sample you get every day while walking your dog is a poo, he says. We can start asking ourselves, when we pick it up, does it leave a mark on the pavement? That tells you if theres a bit too much moisture in there. If you consistently have a puddle in one extreme or a dehydrated pebble on the other, then maybe what youre feeding should be changed.

It might seem boring to us, but feeding one high-quality product will give your dogs all the food they need. That means all 37 essential nutrients are being provided with every meal, as long as you feed according to the guides on the packs.

The first challenge for the pet food manufacturer is that it is safe and balanced. And the second challenge is: does it taste good? If were expecting dogs to enjoy it for years and years of their life, it needs to be something they want to go back to.

Dogs eat according to a whole range of sensory experiences, starting with smell. For a kibble, Danks says, manufacturers such as Black Hawk coat the surface of the product with the natural ingredients that drive dogs to want to eat that food: usually fats and proteins. That mix gives the product a unique flavour profile, which creates aromas that are appealing to a dogs very sensitive nose, and makes them want to eat the nutritious food inside.

The vast majority of wet foods are also complete and balanced, he says. What youre looking for on the pack is an Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement. If youre a conscientious manufacturer with a good formulation team behind you, you should be able to weave some magic and create a lovely combination of great ingredients to fulfil the AAFCO nutrient requirements. If you look on our packs, you will see that statement.

If you do decide to shift your dogs diet to one thats more balanced or tailored, Danks says its best to have a transition period.

If you eat bananas for the next five weeks, then suddenly shift to burgers, your gastrointestinal system is going to go haywire, he explains. Its not going to cope.

A rule of thumb is: if youre feeding a chicken-based diet, stick to a chicken-based diet. If you have a nutrition profile or ingredient list thats vastly different, thats where the transition process comes in. Day by day, increase the proportion of new versus old food to be gentle on their guts. That slow transition usually takes five to seven days, but can potentially take up to a couple of months for extremely sensitive individuals.

Moving to a premium product such as Black Hawk makes the process easier. When youre taking a step up in digestibility, its less of an issue.

Danks recommends we take a careful and considered look at the range on the shelves to find the best product for our dogs. People want to feed their pets better, and we can be more discerning, he says. We dont always have to accept the status quo if our dogs physicality is telling a different story. Its all about reaching for the product that reflects how much we care.

Black Hawks natural, holistic pet food range makes sure your dog gets everything they need, and nothing they dont. Read more about their commitment to the well-being of your pet and real food recipes here.

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Dogs need a balanced diet, too - here's how to get it right - The Guardian

Jun 2

What is a plant-based diet and is it good for you? – CNA

Youve probably come across stories of people proclaiming how going on a plant-based diet has changed their lives for the better.

These could even be first-hand accounts from a friend or a relative you previously knew as a hardcore carnivore who scouted the island for the best steak and char siew and is now embracing kale salads and asking for extra veggies like a new mantra.

But have you ever wondered why someone would resolutely make that 180-degree lifestyle change?

There are different reasons why many people are adopting plant-based or vegan diets in Singapore, said Professor Francis Seow-Choen, a consultant colorectal surgeon from Concord International Hospital.

These could range from influence by the media and advertising, the belief that it contributes to savingthe world, animal rights and activism, and better health.

The latter is something that seems to be catching on here, according to Jaclyn Reutens, a dietitian and founder of Aptima Nutrition and Sports Consultants.

Recent health scares like being diagnosed with prediabetes or having borderline high blood pressure and cholesterol readings have a tendency to spur some to make an effort to eat healthier.

In fact, since the middle of 2019, Reutens revealed shes received 10 per cent more queries on plant-based diets and how to get started on it. Some are trying it for general health purposes to just feel better; some for weight loss, or to manage or prevent diabetes, she said.


While vegetables are certainly involved, there are differences between a plant-based diet and vegetarianism.

A plant-based diet encourages a greater intake of fruit, vegetables, legumes and nuts, but does not strictly exclude animal-based products such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, said dietitian Goh Qiu Le from Changi General Hospitals Dietetic & Food Services.

The makers of The Game Changersare vegan, so I would take the nutritional stance of the show with a pinch of salt because it was clearly from a biased perspective. There are so many successful medal-winning athletes who are not vegan or even close to following a plant-based diet.

As for vegetarianism, it comes in many forms, continued Goh. Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, but include dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Ovo-vegetarian diets allow eggs, while avoiding meat, fish, poultry and dairy products. Vegan diets exclude meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products.

But no matter what form of vegetarianism, the main difference between a vegetarian and someone who is on a plant-based diet is processed foods, said Reutens.

A plant-based diet steers you to consume more minimally-processed products instead of highly-processed foods that contain refined sugars.


The good news is, it is never too late to improve our dietary habits, said Goh. Studies have shown that plant-based diets are associated with reduced risks of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Reutens shared the same sentiments: If you have developed high cholesterol or high blood pressure in your 40s because of bad lifestyle habits, it is not too late to manage these conditions through a change in your diet such as a plant-based diet.

As for sticking to it, Goh advised to make the changes gradual. Sudden, abrupt changes, while well-intentioned, may not be sustainable in the long run. Instituting gradual, positive changes has been shown to be more achievable for most people, she said.

To set you on the right path, seek professional advice and confirmation from a dietitian first, said Goh, before making changes to your eating habits and lifestyle.


Some fitness-conscious individuals could be inspired to switch after watching documentaries such as Netflixs The Game Changers, which showcased how elite athletes and special ops soldiers got bigger, faster and stronger by going vegetarian.

Many people are shocked by such documentaries but it is important to know that they are often not as evidence-based and objective as they appear, said Prof Seow. They may make broad generalisations to suit their storylines. It is highly advisable to use hard science-based evidence to guide our diet decisions.

We are seeing an increasing number of people admitted to hospitals with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, abdominal pain and/or diarrhoea because of the increased ingestion of plant products.

Prof Seow wouldnt recommend switching to plant-based to up your fitness game. Also, individuals who are sick, recovering from a major surgery or going through puberty will benefit much more from meat-based than plant-based diets, he said.

Reutens is also unconvinced by such documentaries. (The Game Changers) incorrectly led people to believe that not just plant-based but a vegan diet trumped one that included animal protein. There are so many nutritional challenges in a vegan diet but those were clearly omitted.

The makers of the documentary are vegan, so I would take the nutritional stance of the show with a pinch of salt because it was clearly from a biased perspective. There are so many successful medal-winning athletes who are not vegan or even close to following a plant-based diet, said Reutens.

So if youre thinking of going plant-based in the hopes of boosting your performance like ex-UFC fighter James Wilks, maybe you should reconsider. Watch it for the entertainment value and not live your life by it. You are not going to be jumping out of planes like Tom Cruise after watching Mission Impossible, are you? said Reutens.


As friends and colleagues who are plant-based converts would effusively tell you, they feel better than the meat-gnawing population.

And they might be right. If their previous diet was one that was very high in red meat, one of the immediate effects would be that they feel great because they would have ingested a lot less fat that made them sluggish, said Reutens.

Plant-based meat substitutes are highin sodium due to the processing methods, and a high sodium intake is associated with greater risks of cardiovascular disease.

The initial effects would be a surge in energy levels, better bowel movements, and they would be more conscious of their food intake, she said, adding that in the long run, a plant-based diet can reward you with good energy levels, a healthier digestive tract, mentally more alert, and a significant reduction of health risks associated with a high intake of animal products.

But is a plant-based diet for everyone? It is, after all, about eating more greens and that cant be bad, right? It may not suit everyone because some individuals may need a high iron intake and red meat is a very good source of iron, said Reutens.

Prof Seow also recommended taking a plant-based diets deemed merits with care. Humans need essentialfatty acids and essential amino acids that are readily obtainedfrom animal sources but are lacking or rare in plant sources, he said.

Other nutrients that may be deficient include calcium, iron and Vitamin B12, said Reutens. In fact, a plant-based diet may pack too much carbohydrates and fats, especially saturated fats, she said, and you may end up feeling tired (from the lack of iron) as well as body aches and cramps (from the lack of essential minerals) eventually.

Prof Seow is also concerned about the higher intake of fibre. While fibre has been associated with better bowel movements, he said that too much fibre can create more problems. Undigested fibre ferments in the large intestine and results in bloating, gas, cramps, irregular bowel with small, pellet-y stools, bulky stools, diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhoea alternating with constipation).

We are seeing an increasing number of people admitted to hospitals with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, abdominal pain and/or diarrhoea because of the increased ingestion of plant products, he said.


You would have heard of or even tasted products such as Impossible Burger, Beyond Sausage and Quorn Sausage Patties. And while they are purportedly better for the environment, are they actually better for you?

Plant-based meat substitutes are higher in sodium due to the processing methods, and a high sodium intake is associated with greater risks of cardiovascular disease, said Goh.

In fact, Reutens doesnt think such products qualify as plant-based. Faux meat is considered a highly processed food, and I do not see it as nutritionally superior to its real meat counterparts. If you want to switch to plant-based protein, she said youre better off dipping into beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, seeds, quinoa that can provide good amounts of proteins, minerals and energy.

Since a plant-based diet allows you to eat real meat, you should eat it. The leaner cuts of red meat are more nutritious than faux meat. But if you want faux meat to be one of your tastier vegetarian options, there is no harm in including it from time to time, said Reutens.


As beneficial as a plant-based diet is to health, Goh said that it is not the only way to achieve positive health outcomes. Each patient has a unique set of conditions and there is no single diet that is all encompassing.

Furthermore, healthy eating is neither complicated nor expensive eat two servings of fruit and vegetables daily, stay adequately hydrated, and choose leaner sources of protein at meals, said Goh.

Reutens agreed that the plant-based diet is not the singular path to a healthier life and wouldnt routinely recommend it unless the patient has been consuming too much meat and poultry and is negatively affecting their health. I do tell my patients to eat less red meat but not to the extent of a plant-based diet unless they pursue the topic further.

There is currently no medical reason to go on plant-based diets, said Prof Seow, adding that people who do are usually advised to by their doctors for different kinds of intestinal problems caused by diabetes, hypertension or cancer.

Even young people who switch to too much plant-based foods develop malnutrition and other symptoms when they change to plant-based diets.I would usually advise them against a vegan diet to ameliorate these problems, said Prof Seow.

See the article here:
What is a plant-based diet and is it good for you? - CNA

Jun 2

Lockdown weight loss: Eat MORE of these five foods and BLACKLIST these five other ones – T3

Weight loss was always one of the most searched for topics online, but ever since the lockdown, losing weight at home has become ever so popular, possibly because all of a sudden everyone started to gain weight due to their new, sedentary lifestyle. The good news is that losing weight at home needn't be difficult. You don't need to go full keto for weight loss although, okay, that could help.

To find out which five foods to avoid if you don't want to gain weight at home and five to eat instead for rapid weight loss we spoke to performance nutritionist Simon Jurwik who also happens to be the commercial director at Bulk Powders. In his humble opinion, some simple changes to lifestyle and diet can lead to great results. You don't have to do bodyweight workouts at home or use a running workout although that also might help.

Here are Simon's best tips on lockdown weight loss keeping in shape effectively and safely, with no dramas.

Simon doesn't believe in the idea of inherently 'bad' foods although even he wouldn't recommend chowing down on takeaway every morning. His motto is "everything in moderation". However he adds, "I would say to limit your consumption of the below whilst in lockdown as they are more calorie dense." Makes sense.

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Eat all your five-a-day in one go if you wish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to weight loss, Simon vouches for calorie deficit: "You should try and eat a well balanced diet so you get the right amount of nutrients and minerals." Ideally, you would like to eat your five a day, a mix of fruits and vegetables, to make sure your vitamin levels are topped up.

It's easier than you think to add more greens to your meals: have some tomatoes with your breakfast bacon and eggs, have an apple mid-morning, some asparagus and kale with your lunch, a banana in the afternoon and half an avocado with your tea.

That's already more than 'just' five-a-day and it shows just how easy it is to add some extra fibres to your diet. Eating more fibrous can also help you feel fuller for longer, meaning you won't get hungry almost instantly after you had some food.

Simon recommends the following food groups to be included in your diet for effective weight loss:

Drinking more water can certainly help

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As Simon explains, "to avoid weight gain or to lose weight, you need to maintain calories compared to your energy expenditure to avoid weight gain or in a deficit for weight loss."

If this sounds a bit too complicated, here is what it means: you need to eat less than your maintenance calories in order to lose weight. Maintenance calories are what your body needs to function: on average, it is around 2,000 kcal for women and 2,500 kcal for men.

"A good way to do this is tracking your calories so you have a better understanding of how much youre eating." Simon adds "If you dont like specifically calorie tracking, then start monitoring your portion sizes. If you need to lose weight, simply reduce the portion sizes."

Calorie tracking can be made easy with apps like MyFitnessPal which can scan barcodes and do the addition for you, no need to calculate carbs/fat/protein manually.

If you want to lose weight, take in less calories than the ones you spend doing your daily activities. Although an average men burns 2,500 calories, if you spend most of your time at home and don't exercise much, your calorie needs are probably under that 2,500, more closer to 2,000.

Smart scales like the Tanita BC-401 body composition monitor can determine your base metabolic rate just by standing on it. Can'r get much easier than that.

You really should avoid most takeaways. Sorry!

(Image credit: Getty)

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Is keto diet the key to weight loss?

(Image credit: Fresh n Lean)

Going on a special diet can help, but only if it's controlled and you stick to it. "Ultimately, it comes down to adherence. If you find going lower carb keto diet is easier for you to stick with, then thats a good option. If you prefer intermittent fasting and you find you can stick to it, then thats one to explore" Simon adds.

The keyword here is 'adherence': avoid moving from one fad to the other on a weekly basis. Once you found the diet you can keep to it doesn't have to be an extreme one either just let your body adjust and eventually, you'll see the results.

The most important thing to remember is that once you get healthy, weight loss will come naturally. It's not about chasing after pounds lost; what's more important is to ease yourself into a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable diet. That will make you lose weight and keep it off, too.

Other special diets include the vegan diet, military diet and paleo diet. And loads more. Do we recommend these? Not necessarily but they are there as an option, should you want to try them for weight loss.

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Exercising regularly is not necessary for weight loss but it can certainly help

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In Simon's opinion, it's important to make a distinction between people who already have a certain muscle mass and people who 'just' want to lose weight: "It depends, if youre aiming to maintain a certain amount of muscle mass, you would need to continue exercising and in particular, resistance training, to hold onto the muscle mass you have."

Cardio has long been used for weight loss, let it be running on treadmills, indoor cycling or indoor rowing. But resistance training is also a great way to burn calories as well as doing HIIT workouts. The best resistance training for weight loss are the ones that use compound exercises, like this full body workout or this two-day push-pull workout.

"Similarly, if youve just completed a diet, which incorporated exercising and calorie restriction, youll need to continue completing the same level of exercise to maintain your weight. If you were to just stop, your calorie expenditure would go down and you will likely gain weight" Simon concludes.

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Supplement-wise, Bulk Powders has you covered

(Image credit: Bulk Powders)

Understandably, Simon knows a lot about topping up your energy levels with supplements: "having the right supplements in the right time can contribute to maintaining/losing weight when incorporated into a balanced diet. For example, if you follow a ketogenic diet, Bulk Powders has several products that are low in carbohydrates such as our Complete Keto Protein Shake, Complete Greens and Electrolyte tablets."

Supplements can come in many shapes and sizes and supplementing your diet doesn't necessarily mean chugging down gallons of protein shakes or weight gainers. Especially if you are following a strict diet, like the vegan diet or the aforementioned keto diet, taking some supplements will be inevitable to support your metabolism.

When using supplements to lose weight, our product Cutting Edge, contains Glucomannan which contributes to weight loss in the context of a calorie restricted diet.

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Lockdown weight loss: Eat MORE of these five foods and BLACKLIST these five other ones - T3

Jun 2

5 reasons to add blueberries to your diet – Arab News

JEDDAH: When youre already a quarter-of-a-million years old, a few months out of action because of a coronavirus pandemic is no more than a blip in time.

It is therefore safe to say that when visitors return to AlUla, the culture and heritage destination in northwest Saudi Arabia, not a lot will have changed.

AlUlas attractions, including the Kingdoms first UNESCO world heritage site, will reopen in October and they will now be accessible all year round.

Walks, treks and trails will be available, guided by the local Rawi (Arabic storyteller) or self-guided, for visitors who want to delve deeper into the stories and customs of the region.

A visit to AlUla is a transformative experience to all who have visited its vast open spaces, its secrets of civilizations gone by and the pure wonder of its landmarks.

We are developing immersive, light-touch experiences that harness the power and silence of the landscapes, experiences like guided stargazing in a desert night sky that has inspired science, religion, philosophy, art and literature for millennia, said Phillip Jones of the Royal Commission for AlUla.

Adventure tourists can tear around in a desert buggy or take to the skies in a vintage light aircraft to see volcanic craters and the lava fields of Harrat Khaybar.

For families, Hijrat Noura, or Princess Noura Farm, offers a chance to observe the local flora and fauna. Winter Park, developed for the Winter at Tantora festival, will also return.

A visit to AlUla is a transformative experience to all who have visited its vast open spaces, its secrets of civilizations gone by and the pure wonder of its landmarks, Jones said.

See the article here:
5 reasons to add blueberries to your diet - Arab News

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