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Jan 22

There’s a Surprising, Smelly Reason Why Eating Less Meat Is Linked to Healthy Aging – ScienceAlert

High-protein diets are having a moment. In any grocery store you can now buy a protein bowl, pick up a protein box of eggs and nuts for lunch, or snack on a protein bar.

But there's evidence that restricting which proteins you eat - particularly cutting back on meat - could be important for healthy aging. The surprising reason: it forces the tissues to make hydrogen sulphide (H2S), a gas that's poisonous if inhaled and smells like rotten eggs, but promotes health inside the body.

As a physiology researcher, I have long been interested in the strange role of H2S in the body. This is not a gas anyone wants around. It stinks, is a component of flatulence, and its toxicity has been linked to at least one mass extinction.

And yet, the body naturally produces small amounts of it as a signalling molecule to act as a chemical messenger. Now, we are starting to understand the link between diet and H2S production.

Less can be more when it comes to food. When scientists have put organisms on carefully balanced but restricted diets, these organisms have substantially increased healthy lifespans.

This holds true for yeasts, fruit flies, worms and monkeys. In mice, such diets reduce cancer risk, strengthen the immune system and improve cognitive function.

But because aging and longevity are complex processes, it has been difficult for researchers to pin down the mechanisms at work. Recent studies have shed new light, and it is apparent that H2S plays a crucial role.

Studies since the 1990s have shown that reducing intake of certain sulphur-containing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, can increase longevity in rats by around 30 per cent. More recently, a collaborative team involving me and led by scientists at Harvard, performed a series of animal studies in which we restricted the intake of two sulphur amino acids - cysteine and methionine - to study what effects this had.

It caused the animals to ramp up production of H2S in their tissues, which triggered a cascade of beneficial effects. These included increased new blood vessel generation, which promotes cardiovascular health, and better resistance to oxidative stress in the liver, which is linked to liver disease.

But it remained to be seen whether similar effects would occur in humans. Earlier this year, a study using data from the 11,576 adults in NHANES III, the US national nutrition survey, delivered evidence that they do. It found that reduced dietary intake of these sulphur amino acids is linked to lower cardiometabolic risk factors, including lower levels of cholesterol and glucose in the blood. Cardiometabolic risk factors are those linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The upshot of this research is that there's good evidence that limiting intake of foods containing high levels of sulphur amino acids can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and promote healthy aging.

In North America, most of us are a long way from achieving this. Because these sulphur amino acids are abundant in meat, dairy and eggs, which feature prominently in our shopping carts, we eat on average 2.5 times our daily requirement of them.

Red meat is particularly high in sulphur amino acids, but fish and poultry white meat also contain a lot (the dark meat has less). Switching to plant-based proteins would help reduce this intake.

Beans, lentils and legumes are good sources of protein that are also low in sulphur amino acids. But beware: soy protein, which is the basis of foods like tofu, is surprisingly high in sulphur amino acids. Meanwhile, vegetables like broccoli contain lots of sulphur but not in amino acid form.

One important caveat is that sulphur amino acids play vital roles in growth, so children should not adopt diets that are low in them.

It might seem odd that a toxic gas can help maintain health, but it may reflect the origins of life on early Earth when the atmosphere was much richer in sulphur gas than it is today. Indeed, we are starting to appreciate how fundamental H2S signalling may be.

For example, it has also been shown to reduce inflammation, opening the door to potential new treatments for arthritis or potential use as a painkiller.

The trick is delivering H2S where it's needed - safely. Several pharmaceutical companies are working on compounds that bind it while in transit through the body, and release it in tiny doses in the tissues. In time, these could be used as preventive measures to support healthy aging. This would be useful because the drawback of a low-sulphur amino acid diet is that humans are notoriously bad at sticking to such plans long-term.

In the lab, we can control experimental diets. In the real world, people snack or grab a burger when they don't want to cook. If delivery mechanisms can be made reliably and cheaply enough, it could be possible to gain the health effects of increased tissue H2S without dictating what people eat.

Rui Wang, Dean, Faculty of Science, York University, Canada.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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There's a Surprising, Smelly Reason Why Eating Less Meat Is Linked to Healthy Aging - ScienceAlert

Jan 22

How to Work Out Safer During the COVID-19 Winter – Healthline

With COVID-19 restrictions keeping many gyms closed or at limited capacity, the bitter cold temperatures that come in the dead of winter may affect many peoples workout routines.

While taking a jog or bike ride may have been a pleasant way to burn calories in the spring and fall, the idea of gearing up to work up a sweat in the chilly winter air might not be as appealing.

But experts said that for most people, its perfectly safe to exercise outside in the colder temperatures.

Still, depending on your fitness level and if youre not used to working out in the cold, there are some things to keep in mind.

People with certain underlying health conditions might also need to be cautious before working up a sweat in the cold.

Dr. Michael Fredericson, sports medicine physician at Stanford Health Care, said that when it comes to health benefits, working out in colder temperatures isnt much different than exercising when its warm.

Its just good to stay active and exercise no matter what the weather is, he told Healthline.

Still, there may be some advantages. Some studies suggest exposure to cold temperatures while exercising causes our metabolism to pick up and activates our brown fat or, the good fat that breaks down fat to maintain body temperature, said Heather Milton, MS, an exercise physiologist at NYU Langone Healths Sports Performance Center.

This may help the body burn through calories in a more efficient way.

Another benefit to exercising in cooler temperatures is that our body doesnt have to work so hard to cool itself down.

This means less blood flow is directed towards the skin, Milton said. When less blood flow is circulating to the skin, more is directed towards working muscles. We also tend to lose less water in sweat, so our blood volume does not dip during longer workouts as it would in hot environments.

For most people, going for a run around their neighborhood or at a local park is usually the easiest way to get in physical activity outside.

But any type of exercise thats done in warmer temperatures is also safe in the cold.

When asked what forms of exercise she would recommend people do in the cold weather, Milton said: Anything, (except maybe swimming).

She recommends: HIIT workouts, cycling, calisthenics, boot camp, dance workouts, you name it. Just be sure to do a full warmup to ensure your muscles are warm, and your core temperature is elevated before getting into higher intensity exercises.

If youre in a climate with snow, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and even sledding can be fun ways to work up a sweat.

Outdoor group exercises are safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, experts said, as long as proper physical distancing measures are taken.

Make sure youre keeping at least a 6-feet distance from other people, ideally more, Fredericson said.

The key to dressing for exercise in the cold is layers.

The base layer should wick away sweat, said Katie Lawton, an exercise physiologist in Sports Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Cotton absorbs sweat and is not a good option for a base layer. If performing an activity or sport like running where you may sweat more, a synthetic fabric base layer is a good option.

For a second layer, Fredericson recommends fleece or wool to help keep in the warmth.

If its raining or snowing, some type of light waterproof jacket can be helpful, he said. But layering is important because as you warm up, you may want to shed some of those, so have something you can tie around your waist.

If its particularly cold, you may also want to wear a hat, gloves, and scarf.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises everyone to wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance while working out either indoors or outdoors.

In addition to preventing the spread of COVID-19, Milton said wearing masks comes with other benefits, especially during the winter months.

Masks come in handy nowadays, as it can cover your nose and cheeks, keeping your face warm and safe from the cold, she said. They can also aid in warming the air you breathe in, which is helpful to your airways.

People with certain underlying health conditions need to take certain precautions when exercising outside during the winter.

For people with asthma, cold weather can be harder to adjust to, Milton said. The cold air causes a reaction of the airways to constrict.

This can make it difficult to breathe and even trigger an asthma attack.

A slow and gradual warmup is recommended to avoid this, Milton added.

And again, a scarf or mask over the face not only helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, but can also be beneficial in warming the air you breathe in.

People with asthma should also remember to carry their inhaler when exercising in case of an asthma attack.

Some cold weather activities, particularly shoveling snow, may be risky for certain people.

Shoveling snow is actually a really vigorous exercise, Fredericson said. If youre used to exercising, then its probably fine, but if youre someone who doesnt exercise a lot and you start shoveling snow, it can actually trigger a heart attack.

Older adults and people with heart disease are at an increased risk of heart attack from shoveling snow. They should get clearance from their doctor before engaging in such strenuous activity or leave the shoveling to someone else, Fredericson said.

For most healthy people, the biggest concern that comes with exercising in the cold is the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Were talking extremely cold temperatures here, Fredericson said. Generally, if the wind chill factor gets below 17 or 18 degrees Fahrenheit, you should probably hold off.

At this temperature, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes.

Hypothermia, which is when the bodys temperature is abnormally low, is more likely to occur at very cold temperatures but can happen even at cool temperatures above 40F if a person becomes chilled by sweat, rain, or water, according to the CDC.

Use common sense, Fredericson said. Make sure you can feel your fingers and toes. If you really start to shiver, try to get out of the cold. You want to be able to carry on a conversation. If youre so cold you cant even talk or you start to feel confused, thats not a good sign.

Staying hydrated is also important in the cold weather.

Though we may need slightly less fluids in the winter, we do still lose fluids during exercise due to breathing, sweating under your base layer, and the drying effects of the air, and thus must maintain our fluid intake, Milton said.

And dont forget the sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen when youre outside. This is especially important in the winter if theres a lot of snow on the ground due to the intensity of the reflection of the sun, Milton said.

Finally, watch out for ice.

If you go run or bike early in the morning, be sure to pay attention to this factor, as a slide or fall would not only hurt more on frozen ground, but also could lead to injury, Milton said.

All things considered, experts said its important that people know they shouldnt be afraid to work out in the cold.

Particularly as it relates to COVID-19, light to moderate exercise is very healthy for your immune system and may actually give you protection against COVID-19 or any type of flu or cold during the winter season, Fredericson said.

Additionally, your risk for disease transmission outside is so much lower, he said. So if you cant exercise indoors or you just like exercising outdoors, I would encourage people to do that using proper precautions.

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How to Work Out Safer During the COVID-19 Winter - Healthline

Jan 22

Counting calories: What to know to lose or gain weight – Medical News Today

Counting calories may help anyone wanting to safely lose or gain weight. However, it is also important to get calories from healthful sources and to sleep and exercise in the right amounts while moderating levels of stress.

Counting calories may seem overwhelming, but a range of tools, including apps and online calculators, can help.

In this article, we look into what calories are, how many to consume for healthful weight changes, and some of the best tools and tips for counting.

Calories are a unit of measurement. They are a way to express an amount of energy.

People are generally most familiar with big calories, which convey the amount of energy in foods and drinks.

Caloric energy is vital in supporting life and health. It helps maintain key bodily functions, such as the functioning of cells.

The body converts calories from food, for example, into energy. It uses this energy immediately or stores it for later use, depending on its current needs.

There are many reasons to count calories. Broadly speaking, doing so allows a person to measure how much energy they are consuming per day.

If a person takes in more than their body uses, they generally begin to gain weight. If a person takes in less than their body requires, they generally start to lose weight.

If, over a prolonged period, foods rich in simple sugars are a primary source of excess calories, a person is at risk of:

People who are significantly increasing their activity levels need extra calories to account for those they are burning.

If a person consumes too few calories, they are at risk of:

The number of calories that a person should consume depends on their:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide an online tool that calculates how many calories a person should be consuming to reach their goal weight.

The calculator also factors in the amount of time in which the person would like to reach this goal.

Several free apps available on iPhone and Android help people count calories, including:

Most foods and drinks have labels that indicate portion sizes in cups, ounces, grams, pieces, slices, or numbers.

Considering portions can help with counting calories and maintaining a healthful weight.

For example, if the label on an ice cream tub shows that a portion measuring 2/3 cup has 230 calories, a person can measure out that amount and know exactly how many calories they are consuming. But if the person only has 115 calories left in that days allowance, they would consume only 1/3 cup to stay on track.

It helps to have an accurate set of cups, scales, and other measuring equipment handy.

Consuming more or fewer calories should never be the only consideration when setting weight or fitness goals. Sleep, stress, and activity levels all play a role in maintaining a healthful weight.

In addition, the source of calories the quality and type of food or drink involved can have a significant effect.

Every calorie converts to energy, but the same number of calories from different foods may have different effects.

For example, if a person consumes their daily allowance of calories from foods with plenty of added sugar and refined carbohydrates, this can raise their blood sugar levels and result in an increase in fat storage.

Similarly, if foods rich in animal fats, particularly red meat, contribute a significant number of calories on a regular basis, this may increase the risk of certain cancers, such as esophageal cancer.

It is crucial to obtain calories from a healthful diet that contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of fats, such as nuts, avocados, and olive oil. These foods contain the nutrients that the body needs to function.

Refined sugar may be a particular concern, as a diet that contains an excess of it can lead to insulin spikes, causing fat cells to store calories. As these calories do not contain necessary nutrients, the body responds with a sensation of hunger.

Alcohol is likewise full of these empty calories, and it may contribute to unintentional weight gain.

The following strategies may help with counting calories:

Counting calories can help people reach and maintain their weight and fitness goals, as it involves tracking how much energy is going into the body each day.

Several apps and online tools can estimate how many daily calories a person needs to reach their goals and help track them day by day.

For anyone looking to make a change to their weight, it is crucial to also consider levels of stress and physical activity, plus the quality and amount of sleep. These factors all play a significant role.

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Counting calories: What to know to lose or gain weight - Medical News Today

Jan 22

Is Saturated Fat Good or Bad for You? It Depends on the Science. –

ALBI SKENDERI IS sitting on a leather love seat in his studio apartment in Manhattans Meatpacking District. A road bike leans on a wall and a punching bag hangs in a corner.

Beneath it are a yoga mat, a medicine ball, and a few dumbbells. Hes wearing a Henley shirt that accentuates his build: six feet and 180 hard, veiny pounds.

The Meatpacking District is an aptly named neighborhood for Skenderi to live in. I switched to a carnivore diet a couple months ago, says Skenderi, who is 33 and works in finance. One of my coworkers was heating up steak in the microwave at eight in the morning, smelling up the entire office. And I was like, Dude, what are you doing?

His colleague had discovered the diet from listening to an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and replied, Meat is all Ive been eating for the last couple weeks. I have so much energy and my body is fantastic right now.

Until then, Skenderi had been eating all vegetables all the time. Id become plant-based after watching The Game Changers, he says, referring to the movie that catalogs the alleged perils of animal foods. And I felt good on plants. But this guy made me wonder . . . Am I doing this all wrong? I went down a rabbit hole. I listened to a podcast and read The Carnivore Code. So I went to Whole Foods and bought a bunch of steak.

Men's Health

Even crazier and more confusing than Skenderis dietary 180 is the fact that scientists cant yet tell us for sure which approach to eating is healthier. At the heart of the debate is a nutrient most commonly associated with animal proteinssaturated fatand whether or not eating too much of it will kill you.

The fact that podcasts, books, and movies can draw on research about meat and saturated fatand if you should consume itand come to opposite conclusions shouldnt be surprising.

Nutritional science is less certain than you might imagine, and warring, possibly compromised camps are exploiting that squishiness to promote polar-opposite agendas. And not just in pop culture.

This war is taking place in our nations capital and in the halls of our most venerated academic institutions. It involves allegations of biased research funding from Big Beef and Nut Boards, a contrarian investigative journalist, and an esteemed Ivy League researcher railing against the disinformation triangle.

It has professors and deans at Harvard and Yale slinging mud. It includes accusations of data misrepresentation, fear mongering, political hardball, and all-around general bullshitting.

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The war has grown more intense with the anticipated release of the federal governments 2020-25 dietary guidelines, sending both sides into a blitzkrieg assault to either keep or kill the long-standing saturated-fat recommendations.

And the fallout from this war is hitting average Americans, driving more of us to search for dietary salvation at the poles. Veganism rose nearly 1,000 percent in the U.S. between 2010 and 2019. According to Nielsen, nearly 40 percent of Americans say theyre making an effort to eat more plant-based products.

Yet meat and dairy consumption has also ticked upward; theres now a bevy of mail-order meat-subscription companies, and carnivore diet books are best sellers.

When those new guidelines do drop, most of us might be left to wonder: Who can we trust in this billion-dollar food fight? And what does all this mean for our health?

TO UNDERSTAND the history of governmental nutrition guidelines in the U.S., you have to know nutrition research at Harvard University. To do that, you have to know Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H.

Dr. Willett, 75, is slim but sturdy, with a head of silver hair and a wispy white mustache. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School when Nixon was in office.

When I was practicing medicine, I became frustrated because my patients had conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease that I couldnt cure, says Dr. Willett. I wanted to understand what was causing the conditions to prevent them in the first place.

Until the 1940s, most Americans didnt really worry about whether food would blow up their waistlines or clog their arteries, says Adrienne Bitar, Ph.D., a food historian at Cornell University and the author of Diet and the Disease of Civilization. Food was considered medicine in the sense that eating a healthy diet moved you further away from malnutrition and disease.

Then, in the 1950s, Ancel Keys, Ph.D., a physiologist at the University of Minnesota, noticed a paradox. Rich guys in America were well-fed, but they suffered from a high rate of heart disease. Middle-aged men in the U.S. had a four- to ten-times-greater risk of the disease compared with men in postwar Europe, Japan, and other countries.

Keys believed diet, specifically a diet that included lots of saturated fat, was to blame. Fat made up 40 percent of the calories in the average American diet but just 20 percent in the Italian one.

Keys figured that if people ate less fat, theyd reduce their blood cholesterol and, therefore, their risk of heart disease. And, hed find, foods higher in saturated fats seemed to raise blood cholesterol.

Then in 1955, President Eisenhower had a heart attack, says Bitar. Thats when public attention cohered around the idea that heart disease was an epidemic. Eisenhower went on a low-fat diet. Not long after, the federal government started raising concerns about fat in the diet.

In 1980, Dr. Willett earned his doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health and joined the epidemiology department as a professor. He developed rigorous diet questionnaires, which researchers distributed to nearly 122,000 nurses, looking for links between eating habits and health.

We set the study up to look at the type of fat because of the concern at that time, he says of the landmark Nurses Health Study.

Dr. Willetts work has consistently shown that, for heart disease, saturated fats arent necessarily bad. But they also arent good. Its really about comparison, he says. If you compare saturated fat to trans fats, then saturated fat looks good.

For every 2 percent of your calories that come from trans fats (the FDA banned artificial trans fats in 2015, in part due to Dr. Willetts work), for example, your coronary-heart-disease risk rises by 23 percent, according to a review in The New England Journal of Medicine. But if you compare it to unsaturated fats, then saturated fat looks bad, says Dr. Willett.

But Dr. Willett, despite his academic stature and decades of expertise, has his critics.

NINA TEICHOLZ, 55, was something of a vegetarian for 25 years, she says. She says she was constantly trying to lose 15 to 20 pounds and always felt tired and depressed.

Then around 2005 she began researching and writing The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, and while she started incorporating more animal products into her diet, she says her health started to improve.

Saturated fat has been the rate-limiting factor in the consumption of animal foods, says Teicholz. Meat and dairy, principally, are foods that we depend on for essential nutrients and vitamins for human health. Theyre the most calorically efficient way to get the vitamins and nutrients you need for life.

Teicholz says there is evidence these foods are healthy even at nearly twice the current guideline recommendation. Suggesting that people limit saturated fats, she argues, steers people away from whole foods such as red meat and dairy.

Teicholz wrote a piece for this magazine in 2007 called What If Bad Fat Is Actually Good for You? and has appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience to talk about the topic.

In 2014 her career shifted after John Arnold tweeted an op-ed she wrote for The Wall Street Journal about saturated fat.

Arnold is a billionaire hedge-fund manager with a history of bankrolling counterintuitive nutritional ideas. For example, Arnold spent $40 million in 2012 and 2013 to launch the Nutrition Science Initiative, a project that supports research that tests fundamental assumptions about the metabolic and hormonal causes of obesity and related disorders, as stated on its website.

According to Teicholz, she reached out to Arnold after the tweet and he invited her to meet his team at the Arnold Foundation. That meeting eventually led to the Arnold Foundation funding Teicholz to conduct an analysis of the 2015 dietary-guidelines advisory-committee report, which was an independent project, she says.

Following that, I was funded to start the Nutrition Coalition, whose main goal at that point was simply to educate policy makers about the need for an outside review of the dietary-guidelines process, since there had never been one, she says.

Teicholz is the Nutrition Coalitions executive director, a role that, at least as of 2018, was paying her $144,000 a year. The coalition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, reports that its funding comes from donations and grants. In 2018, it brought in roughly half a million dollars.

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The Nutrition Coalition has argued that the governments dietary guidelines are based on weak scientific evidence. In order to continue the limits on saturated fat, health officials must show ample and consistent evidence that these fats damage health, the coalition has stated. It points to some 20 review studies that have shown an inconsistent link between saturated fat and heart disease.

Whats more, the Nutrition Coalition charges that the members of the USDAs 2020-25 guidelines committee have damning potential conflicts of interest. Three of the 20 members of the most recent committee, the coalition highlights in a post on its website, have previously received funding from nut commissions or the potato industry, or were affiliated with Nestl or Dannon.

But the accusations fire both ways.

David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., founding director of Yale Universitys Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and other scientists believe the Nutrition Coalition is lobbying for the meat industry, which has been influencing U.S. dietary guidelines for decades.

Why would the beef industry care about the arguments for or against saturated fats?

Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H., a food and nutrition researcher at New York University, explains it this way: The guidelines currently tell us to eat more in the context of foods but use nutrients when referring to what you should eat less of. Nutrients are euphemisms for foods. Saturated fat means meat. They dont have to say, Eat less of those foods directly, thereby saving a lot of political hell, Nestle says.

There is no evidence that the Nutrition Coalition receives funding from the beef or dairy industry, or any industry at all, but its scientific board does include a member with ties to Virta Health, a company that recommends high-fat, ketogenic diets to help treat insulin resistance in people with diabetes.

And the coalition has supported the work of scientists who conduct research funded by the beef industry. And theres another grenade critics of the Nutrition Coalition lob: a lack of necessary experience.

The people who have positions of prominence [at the Nutrition Coalition] include many people with no formal training in nutrition or in science, Dr. Katz says.

In fact, half of the coalitions board had no previous experience in the health sectorTeicholz included. She has a B.A. in American studies and an M.A. in Latin American studies.

Despite the accusations made against it, the Nutrition Coalition has moved the dial.

According to Teicholz, her most successful effort as an advocate was to plant the idea, in 2015, that Congress might consider an independent outside review of the dietary guidelines. The hope for this review was to improve the transparency and scientific rigor of the guidelines.

And she has chosen to respond to her critics.

Teicholz is at odds with Harvards research, and in particular Dr. Willett, because he has significant intellectual and financial conflicts of interest which he almost never declares in any of his papers, she says, and the studies he oversees are a significant part of the foundation of the dietary guidelines.

Not to mention Dr. Willett is an ideological vegan whose work supports the idea of moving towards a vegetarian-slash-vegan diet, she says. Teicholz has published a ten-page dossier laying out the terms of how Dr. Willetts vegan agenda can be explained by his ideological and financial conflicts.

Maybe scientists could write Teicholz off (and some within the field have). Except that more minds in nutrition are becoming sympathetic to the idea that perhaps animal foods arent as bad as science has previously made them seem.

I kind of appreciate [what shes doing], says Tamar Haspel, a columnist for The Washington Post who has been covering nutrition and the food industry for two decades. Shes poking the bear, and the bear needed to be poked.

IN THE fall of 2019, a group of scientists dropped a series of six papers in the Annals of Internal Medicine, one of the most influential journals in the field, that reviewed the research on red and processed meats.

The papers included studies assessing the health risks of consuming those foods, ultimately questioning the validity of the health guidelines as they pertained to saturated fat.

The 49-person research team found that among study participants, those who ate about four to seven servings of red and processed meats a week had approximately the same risk of cancer, heart attack, or death from any cause as those who ate one to four servings a week.

The difference between the two groups meant that for every 1,000 people who eat less meat, only two would avoid the increased risk of death from any cause that comes with eating more meat.

Based on these findings, this group published its own dietary guideline recommendations for Americans: You enjoy beef and bacon, so continue eating it.

This research sent the other side, scientists who have shaped American food policy for the past four decades, scrambling into Defcon 1.

Reenter Dr. Katz, who also leads True Health Initiative (THI), a group of 500-plus health experts that derives its funding from 46 different non- and for-profit groups, most of which are in the fields of health care or nutrition and many of which promote plant-heavy diets or products.

When prerelease copies of the Annals papers landed on the desks of Dr. Katz and others at THI, we started calling one another and saying in effect . . . Holy shit, this is not for print, says Dr. Katz. We thought [it was] going to hurt a lot of people.

Dr. Katz, who is a Mens Health advisor, believes the scientists who authored the Annals studies were leveraging the authority of the respected journal to issue their own set of alternative guidelines, as he put it, without any actual legitimate authority: If theyd just published the [data] and not the guidelines, it would have been a yawn from us. But to devise guidelines directly at odds with your own findings and pretend like thats business as usual . . . this is a provocation, he says.


THI responded to the research by pulling together 14 leading scientists and collectively requesting that all six papers be preemptively retracted and given due and appropriate review. . . . We do so on the basis of grave concerns about the potential for damage to public understanding and public health, wrote Dr. Katz and his cosigners.

But as THI cooked up its academic retort, the work of the independent committee tasked with reviewing nutrition and health topics that would inform the 2020-25 dietary guidelines, including possible adjustments to saturated-fat caps, was already under way.

"AT THE core of this conflict is the value of nutritional epidemiology, says Stephan J. Guyenet, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and obesity researcher.

So lets say that people who eat lots of red meat have more heart attacks than people who eat less red meat, says Guyenet. You could see that and conclude that red meat causes heart disease. But maybe people who are eating a lot of red meat are also smoking more cigarettes.

Teicholz says that when it comes to beef and dairy, the evidence on saturated fat is flawed. These studies find extremely weak data associations, not causation, she says.

Richard Feinman, Ph.D., a professor at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, puts it like this: Willetts textbook on nutritional epidemiology is quite good in that its thorough, but it doesnt let you draw the right conclusions. In a toxic tort case in a court of law, for example, these studies wouldnt hold up as evidence, he says.

Dr. Willett believes his detractors and those who laud the supposed benefits of beef, in particular, are part of what he calls the disinformation triangle. Its a triangle of interests that are people not working together to guide consumers, he says.

Its three points are food-industry groups, such as Big Beef; academics who make a career bashing others epidemiological research and/or supporting industry research that misleads the public; and the sensationalist media, which reports on that industry-funded research.

His critics, he says, are missing the larger point: His food-frequency questionnaires were never designed to be perfect.

A perfect nutrition study would be unfeasible, and downright unethicalscientists would have to hold many thousands of people in a lab and feed them specific diets over the entirety of their lives. Dr. Willett says his type of studies are good enough to make rational decisions.

But he isnt off the hook.

Teicholz points out that Dr. Willett and Harvards nutrition department have conducted studies funded by nut boards or other trade groups.

Nestle, the NYU nutrition researcher, is also aware of this funding and says, I really wish they wouldnt do that.

THERE'S YET another complicating factor to all this: Although the saturated-fat debate centers primarily on red meat, the nutrient is found in many other foods.

Its not possible to eat saturated fat in isolation. Therefore you have to question the significance of studies that study saturated fat as opposed to the foods that contain it, says Nestle.

Perhaps the strongest statement suggesting a rethink on saturated-fat caps came out in The BMJ in 2019.

Nineteen leading scientists (many of whom declared ties to the dairy, nut, and other industries) concluded that the established guidelines fail to take into account considerable evidence that the health effects vary for different saturated fatty acids and that the composition of the food in which they are found is crucially important.

The saturated fats found in a square of dark chocolate or in nuts are different from those in a rib-eye steak. And they have different effects in the body, says Ronald Krauss, M.D., Ph.D., director of atherosclerosis research at Childrens Hospital Oakland Research Institute, who helped develop the American Heart Associations dietary guidelines in 2000.

Theres not just one LDL cholesterol particle. They vary in size from large to small, says Dr. Krauss. The smaller LDL particles have properties that make them more likely to have adverse effects in the artery and promote [heart disease]. This is why zoning in on saturated fat as a single macronutrient category as the basis for the nutritional recommendation, to me, is a flawed approach.

Lumping together all saturated fats, some scientists now believe, may steer the food-marketing industry toward advertising foods that are low in saturated fat, yes, but also high in refined starch and sugar.

This effect happens often with many broad recommendations based upon single nutrients, says Trevor Kashey, Ph.D., a former cancer researcher who now owns Trevor Kashey Nutrition.

In fact, its happened in the recent past: The recommendation to eat more fiber is meant to encourage people to eat that nutrient from whole-food sources, says Kashey. Whole foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables. But then, Kashey says, bakeries start making bran muffins.

FORMER U.S. secretary of health and human services Sylvia Burwell and former secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack oversaw the development of the current nutritional guidelines.

And in 2015 Congress pulled the two into a hearing to ask about them. The key here is taking a look at the preponderance, the greater weight of the evidence, and trying to make a judgment . . . this is really about well-informed opinion. I wish there were scientific facts, said Vilsack.

And so was born a new directive for the scientific committee: to look at the totality of the nutrition and health research for those facts.

Five years later, the 20 scientists on the advisory committee whose report forms the basis of the 2020-25 nutritional guidelines looked at the evidence about saturated fat and are recommending changing . . . nothing.

And, in all likelihood, the eventual government dietary guidelines will reflect that exact recommendation: Americans should consider swapping saturated fats with unsaturated fats and limit their saturated-fat intake to 10 percent or less of their total calories per day.

But the report also stated that its more important to account for a persons overall diet than individual nutrients. People do not consume nutrients or foods in isolation but in various combinations over time, the scientists wrote.

Instead, people should aim for higher intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, low- or nonfat dairy, lean meat and poultry, seafood, nuts, and unsaturated vegetable oils and low consumption of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, and refined grains.

That part of the report is a good one, nutrition experts argue.

We dont eat saturated fat, says Kashey. We eat bacon cheeseburgers and ice cream.

Just 28 percent of the saturated fat the average American eats comes from proteins and dairy, such as a piece of meat or glass of milk. Sixty percent of it comes from multi-ingredient foods.

If people actually followed the guidelines and stopped eating all the bacon cheeseburgers and ice cream, theyd be healthier, says Kashey.

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Is Saturated Fat Good or Bad for You? It Depends on the Science. -

Jan 22

These Kitties Are On Diets, But SPCA Is Helping Them Get In Shape –

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD The SPCA of Anne Arundel County is looking for homes for these cuties. If you are interested in adopting one of this week's adorable adoptables, head to the SPCA website.

Sassy is a lovely seven-year-old calico cat. She is a little on the large side, but working hard to get back into shape. True to her name, she can be a bit Sassy at times, but she does enjoy attention when she's in the mood, especially head and neck rubs. She likes to play and she will jump up onto the sink to get fresh water straight from the tap.

Rocky:Meet Rocky! This sweet senior is looking for a calm, loving home. He is a very affectionate cat and we're told he really enjoys laps. Rocky is a recent arrival to the shelter and he's hoping not to have to stay too long. He is currently on a weight-loss diet and will require regular brushing to keep his coat healthy.

Kween:Cute little Kween is only 3 years old, but she's already a grandma! Kween arrived at the shelter with her mom and her daughter, and her daughter just had a litter of kittens. Kween is a friendly girl and she gets along fine with other cats. She is currently hanging out at the new adoption center Paws at the Mall, so come by and see her today!

Angel:Angel is 11 years old. She is a nice lady but set in her ways and can have a little "cattitutde" towards other cats who get in her face. Angel is diabetic, but she is doing very well with twice daily insulin injections. These are easy to administer and we would be happy to teach you how! Angel is available for foster or adoption. Please contact us if interested!

These Kitties Are On Diets, But SPCA Is Helping Them Get In Shape -

Jan 22

Health and Nutrition 101: Macros, Calories and Exercise … Oh, My! (Part 1) – Capistrano Dispatch

SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISMThe article youre about to read is from our reporters doing their important work investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers businesses have been impacted. Thats why The Capistrano Dispatch is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insiders program here. Thank you.


By Gina Cousineau

My entire adult life, I have talked diets, either because I was on one or someone I knew was on one.

As a fitness professional, trained chef, and as a nutrition expert, I regularly want to pull my hair out over the conversations I overhear, paired with all the noise I see across the internet regarding diets.

The best one yet was a diet program in which you can win money. It was the perfect storm for those with disordered eatingthe majority of uspaired with gambling. Oh, my!

So lets unpack the latest and greatest, as we once again hear fromU.S. News & World ReportsBest Diets 2021.

Leading the way, as in years past, are omnivore-type diets, including the Mediterranean, DASH, and Flexitarian diets, which are plant-focused. In other words, a plant-based diet that includes dairy, as well as animal and plant proteins mixed in. They all promote a whole food nutrition approach that islowin sugar, saturated fat, sodium, along with limiting highly processed foods. Not brain surgery, folks.

Macronutrients, or macros, remain high on the list of buzzwords when it comes to diet-speak. In reality, macronutrients are foods that provide calories, which include carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

There are all kinds of spewing of if it fits my macros, macro percentages, and I count macros going on. But what does this really mean?

Fact is, counting macros tells us nothing of food quality, nor the number of calories that are being consumed, so I use this opportunity to educate my readers as to why you should know what macros are and how they can help you reach your goals for the New Year.

Bottom line, if you are on a diet, you either want to lose, gain or maintain your weight; are concerned about improving or holding onto your current health scenario; and/or you want to improve your performance (speed, body composition, strength, etc.).

If you have no concern for these things, you likely eat foods that are convenient, regardless of their repercussions.

Macros provide the calories needed to exist in life. If you over-consume them, you store body fat and potentially increase your risk of lifestyle diseases linked to obesity, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colorectal cancers and the like.

Under-consume calories, and you risk sarcopenia, the loss of lean tissue mass, including muscle and bone, leading to a host of health concerns. Malnutrition and lack of proper nutrition can happen no matter how many calories you consume.

Homeostasis is the bodys happy place and the home in which I want my clients to reside.

The type of macros you consume is dictated by the foods you choose. Carbohydrates are the bodys preferred and primary fuel source. Wholesome foods rich in carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, whole grains/starches, and dairy products.

Fats are imperative for most every metabolic process in the body. Healthier options include fats from foods such as avocados, olives, nuts, seeds and oils from these foods. Protein helps to build and repair, along with it being the matrix of our skin, muscle and bones. Nutritious picks are lean animal and dairy sources, eggs, and plants rich in soy and legumes.

Those macros in combination are called meals and snacks, and not only can bring joy to our lives, but wonderful nutrition to our bodies. They can also be our demise.

Recommendation from Mama G: Choose wholesome macronutrients most of the time as close to nature as possible. Stay tuned for more on macros next month.

Gina Cousineau sees clients virtually and in person out of her San Clemente office. Her extensive educationa BS in dietetics and MS in integrative and functional nutritionchef training, and 30-plus years as a fitness professional allow her to help clients lose weight and improve their health.You can reach her at, 949.842.9975, and on Instagram and Facebook @mamagslifestyle.

BECOME AN INSIDER TODAYTrustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.


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Health and Nutrition 101: Macros, Calories and Exercise ... Oh, My! (Part 1) - Capistrano Dispatch

Jan 22

The Pandemic Intensified Chicagos Food Deserts in the South & West Sides – Eater Chicago

In January, New Years resolutions abound. Diet-related goals related to healthier eating and weight loss are especially popular particularly as the pandemic has kept Chicagoans inside and prompted many restaurants to specialize in comfort foods designed to manage the stress of the past year. But a major obstacle in better eating is a lack of resources, something many residents on Chicagos South and West sides know all too well; those areas are home to many of the citys low-income immigrants and communities of color who historically suffer from disproportionate access to essentials like food, health care, and education.

Food insecurity the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money or other resources makes it difficult for many South and West siders to make healthy choices and change cultural and family eating habits. The coronavirus pandemic has only worsened this problem: It has made it harder for Black and Latinx families to afford enough food to feed their families and exposed the longstanding health challenges for these communities, which were hit hard by the virus. And with the pandemic causing extra stress, lack of sleep, high rates of unemployment, and depression, experts say healthy eating habits can take a hit, especially for folks with limited options.

Dr. Tony Hampton, a regional medical director and physician at the Advocate Beverly Center specializes in family medicine and obesity and says the main barrier to better healthy living is twofold: inadequate access and geographic distance directly impact peoples diets on the West and South sides, but a lack of education also plays a part.

In communities of color, the distance between stores and homes are always vastly wider than in other communities, Hampton says. But even at major grocery chains, fresh produce is not always available. About two years ago, Hampton decided to partner with the Chicago Food Depository to launch Advocate Trinity Hospitals Food Farmacy program to increase access to fresh and healthy food for patients and community members in need. The program offers education, counseling, and healthy foods pushing folks with chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity to cook their own food at home.

Cooking at home has become more common since the pandemic, which has affected the restaurant industry nationwide. But for the communities that Hampton serves, the lack of healthy neighborhood restaurants makes it even more vital to make cooking a practice that can help people avoid corner stores and fast-food restaurants, he says.

The [program] recognizes where there are gaps, partners with people at the Chicago Food Depository, and then uses this Food Farmacy idea to both educate and provide resources, he says, positioning the program as an alternative to fast food.

While the city has made recent gains in helping the South and West sides combat food deserts by slowly bringing grocery store chains to areas like Englewood, Chatham, and South Shore, research shows they havent made a dent in food desert trends.

According to a 2018 University of Chicago study on urban foodscape trends, the number of supermarkets in the city increased between 2007 and 2014, but low-income neighborhoods have not reaped the benefits because their economic situation didnt change.

Daniel Block, a professor of geography at Chicago State University who studies food availability and access, co-authored the study and tells Eater Chicago that these low-food-access areas have gotten worse in terms of accessibility since the study was completed. Target closed two South Side locations in 2019, and Bronzevilles Save A Lot permanently closed last April. Even as South Shore got its grocery back at a former Dominicks store after six years and Austin plans to get an independently owned fresh market called Forty Acres come next year, Block says the pandemics economic hit on residents in those areas could make it harder for them to afford fresh produce at the grocery stores.

It is more about differing experiences of capitalism, Block says. It doesnt mean that its not harder to live somewhere where you dont have a full-service supermarket, but if you think opening one is going to change peoples diets, most studies have shown it doesnt.

He agrees that grocery retail patterns and investment on the South and West sides are important, but so are diverse food options that work to brighten up neighborhoods historically known as food deserts though he says its more apt to use the term food redlining. Community co-ops, food pantries, and community gardens are creating that vibrancy via mutual aid efforts and partnerships that have ramped up to feed those in need during the pandemic.

Those models are more focused on building communities up, he says. Maybe a community garden doesnt feed the great percentage of the population, but its something that has happened from the ground up.

From the ground up is exactly how Oswaldo Becerra has helped his community stay fed during the pandemic. Becerra is the event director of Pilsen-based Healthy Hood Chi, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable programming and resources to South Side families in an effort to shrink the 20-year life-expectancy gap between underserved communities and high-income communities. In March, he and Healthy Hood founder Tanya Lozano created We Got Us, an initiative that has given a weekly 15-pound box of produce from Midwest Foods Urban Growers Collective, personal protective equipment, flyers on ways to stay healthy, and recipe card to over 15,000 Chicago-area families.

I need to give my community the resources that they deserve, Becerra says of starting We Got Us. Sometimes other resources that should be going to our people do not go there and its a very noticeable thing.

He says the pandemic has shined a light on food apartheid the racially discriminatory political structures that impact food access and control in low-income communities already struggling with scarce food access or high prices, like his own. Sometimes people cannot buy three bell peppers for $6, he says, especially with the worsening economic crisis. He grew up in a Mexican family and his mom loved to cook and provide for her family, though meals were not always healthy, he says. Now, Becerra says his family is eating healthier thanks to the weekly produce boxes from We Got Us.

Since last year, Chicagoans have been more aware of mutual aid giveaways of fresh fruit and vegetables across the city and on the West Side. State Rep. (8th District) La Shawn Ford says the giveaways meet his communitys needs. The shortage of healthy restaurants on the West Side is an issue, he says which is why holding nearby farmers markets both private- and city-run selling fresh produce and other healthy items, carries more weight.

Its always important for any community to have access to healthy choices at affordable prices, Ford says. Thats what Forty Acres and community stores that have an investment in neighborhoods do for the community. We need to support them so they can be successful and people have access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.

To start the new year on the right foot and to help folks eat well, Hampton recommends that people control your controllables despite the pandemic stress that he has seen hit his patients diets hard. He understands that settling for comfort foods might feel good in the now, but not later. Eat the green beans instead of the starchy carbs at least every other day, he says. Adhering to a stricter diet now will lead to more enjoyable results in the future.

If we are comfortable with that, people will have permission to eat slightly differently, Hampton says.

The following South and West side restaurants offer healthy food options and meals that are affordable and hearty, and that may inspire a more conscious dietary lifestyle for 2021 while helping local restaurants stay afloat.

1307 W. 18th Street

The woman-owned, independently run Bellis in Pilsen offers cold-pressed juices, organic produce, healthy to-go salads, and vegetarian bowls, as well fresh vegan treats and weekly Belli Baskets full of produce from Midwestern farmers.

7167 S. Exchange Avenue

South Side favorite Majani serves soulful vegan cuisine. The African-influenced restaurant includes a crabcake sandwich made with baked tofu, a lentil mushroom burger, and stir-fried veggies. One of its specialties is the barbecue roast sandwich: thinly sliced Majani-made roast, grilled with onions and barbecue sauce and served with signature roasted sweet potatoes, as well as the barbecue cauliflower, a soy-based treat battered and fried with a bold barbecue sauce.

8154 S. Cottage Grove Avenue

Family-owned Wrap Bar in Chatham offers quick bites like sandwiches, salads, and wraps. The hidden gems popular items include the jerk chicken wrap, the salmon wrap, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

332 E. 51st Street

Conscious Plates is a 100 percent alkaline and plant-based restaurant and organization that offers holistic healing and lifestyle training. The restaurant was born out of a 2018 popup and offers healthy alternatives to popular dishes like pizzas, nachos, and burgers. Customer favorites include the raw brownie ball, fajita tacos, and the restaurants signature Burro fries: sliced Burro bananas deep-fried in grapeseed oil.

203 E. 75th Street

The legendary vegan spot in Greater Grand Crossing offers a deli hot bar and vegan takes on soul items like jerk chicken, nachos, and spicy chicken wraps, as well as a full juice bar. A few favorites are the barbecue twist platter with soy-based meat and the falafel platter or the veggie gyros. While the menu includes fried foods, overall, its a healthy option for people who need to reduce their red meat intake.

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7167 South Exchange Avenue, , IL 60649 (773) 359-4019

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The Pandemic Intensified Chicagos Food Deserts in the South & West Sides - Eater Chicago

Jan 22

9 Full-Body Workouts for Weight Loss (& Other Tips) – Healthline

If your goal is to burn fat and lose weight, focus on strength-building exercises that target your whole body. Full-body exercises are ideal since they work several muscle groups at once, saving you time and energy.

With the right approach toward weight loss, youll be able to burn fat and build muscle, which helps you to burn more calories even at rest. Plus, youll tone your body and are likely to start feeling better mentally and physically in the process.

Your results are dependent on the quality of effort you put toward your goals, so be consistent and disciplined in your approach.

Lets look at some of the best weight-loss exercises, grouped for beginning, intermediate, and advanced workouts. For each exercise, do 2 to 5 sets of 6 to 15 repetitions.

You can modify this classic bodyweight exercise to suit your level and to target different muscles as needed. Check out a few pushup variations for beginners.

You can do lunges with or without weights. Once youve perfected your form, you can move on to lunge variations.

Work on perfecting your form with bodyweight squats before moving on to weights. There are plenty of squat variations to mix up your routine.

You can also try this exercise one arm at a time.

To vary your routine, you can always modify burpees to be easier or more challenging.

To target muscles differently, you can do this exercise using dumbbells, giving you an extra challenge in shoulder stability and grip.

Create a routine that helps you set and achieve realistic, safe, and sustainable weight loss goals.

Here are a few tips for creating an effective weight loss routine:

Diet and exercise go hand in hand with weight loss. Along with your workout routine, youll want to follow a healthy diet and reduce your calorie intake.

If you dont see any weight loss results after following a routine, talk with your doctor.

Your doctor may check for or rule out any underlying conditions that could be limiting your weight loss. This may include:

Likewise, make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you start to feel tired, fatigued, or run-down, especially if youre not seeing any weight loss results. You could be overexerting yourself.

You can achieve your strength-building and weight loss goals as long as you have the drive, discipline, and commitment to follow a healthy exercise and diet plan.

Remember that change takes time, so be patient as it may take a few months to see results. To see weight loss results, commit to at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and make healthy changes to your diet.

To maintain your results, stick to your routine even after you start to see progress. Over time, youll feel more confident, healthy, and strong, which will motivate you to continue.

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9 Full-Body Workouts for Weight Loss (& Other Tips) - Healthline

Jan 22

Vegan Tourism Set to Be Travels Greener Shoot With a New Emphasis on Health – Skift

Vegan tourism. Not too long ago, that probably would have been an oxymoron. After all, diets that excluded animal products hadnt gone mainstream. But in recent years, tours catering to vegans have grown in popularity as the number of people adopting such a diet has grown substantially in numerous countries.

As the pandemic brings greater emphasis on personal health priorities, vegan tourism is poised for a new wave of growth once people begin traveling again.

Bookings for our vegan holidays have more than doubled in recent years, rising by 120 percent between 2016 and 2019, said Justin Francis, the founder and CEO of tour operator Responsible Travel, one of the relatively few tour operators to have trips scheduled in the early portion of 2021.

Indeed, Responsible Travel is far from the only travel business to benefit from the boom in veganism. [We] have noticed an increasingly-high number of requests for vegan meals on all our tours, noted Matt Berna, the managing director for the North American office of Intrepid Travel, which runs Vegan Real Food Adventures, a set of vegan-focused tours of India and in previous years, Thailand and Italy.

The company halted its Vegan Food Adventures tours in the latter two countries due to the pandemic but hopes to restart the India Vegan Food Adventures when possible.

In addition, those seeking vegan-friendly accommodation can turn toVegan Welcome, a project launched in 2015 (by the brains behindVeggie Hotels, the worlds first hotel directory for solely vegetarian and vegan hotels and B&B lodgings) that lists more than 130 hotels in 20 countries on its website.

Tempeh satay, yellow tofu curry, organic red rice, urab, acar pickles, sambal matah, sesame crackers on a vegan tour in Bali. Source: Veggie Hotels

As evidenced by the growing number of vegan food tours taking travelers around the world. Contiki last year announced plans for its own vegan food tour of Europe starting this August, appealing is not only good business but necessary business, according to Berna. Running the Vegan Real Food Adventures allowed us to gain greater insight into our vegan travelers: what they expect and crave in a food-themed tour. We believe its necessary to cater to dietary requirements on all our tours, especially the Real Food Adventures, so we can offer peace-of-mind and inclusivity for travelers who want to explore the world through cuisine, while adhering to their vegan lifestyle, he added.

Intrepid Travel had already been prepared for some time to satisfy guests on its Vegan Food Adventures. When we first started Real Food Adventures in 2013, we were already briefing our foodie leaders on different dietary preferences, as we wanted all our travelers to enjoy a taste of a country through their senses on all our food trips, Berna added. So when it came to developing our vegan food trips, we had a great head start, as wed already been delivering vegan food experiences within our standard food trips for a number of years!

Of course, tour operators dangle the carrot of delicious food to entice guests to vegan tours. But tourism businesses have found such excursions have a much greater benefit for the planet than just stuffing peoples stomachs: well-run vegan tours can support local communities and benefit the environment.

Eating less meat while awayand opting for locally-sourced, organic produce in locally-run establishmentsis one of the most significant ways to lower your carbon footprint on holiday, while also contributing to the local economy, Francis asserted, adding that many of Responsible Travels 400 partners include many of those leading our vegan and vegetarian trips.

Responsible Travel commissioned a study last year that found that emissions associated with food are potentially greater than a trips transport emissions.

La Cena di Pitagora restaurant in Ponte Nizza, Italy, part of a vegan tour.

So is a vegan tour different from a non-vegan tour? Not really. Our Real Food Adventures, including the India Vegan Real Food Adventure, are designed like all Intrepid Travels tourssmall-group, locally-led, sustainable adventuresbut theyre shaped by culinary experiences, and include all meals, Berna explained.

Likewise, some of (Responsible Travels) trips dont differ from others aside from their vegan focus, Francis stated. A number of our wellness holidays offer plant-based cuisine with a health and nutrition focus, and we offer a vegan conscious cooking holiday. But the vegan holidays range from food tours and yoga retreats to cycling breaks, trekking and group adventures.

So how are activities for vegan tours determined? All our tours are designed from conception to production by our product managers and our local DMCs (destination marketing corporations), Berna said, adding they collaborate to find activities and meals with a local touch.

Whether its a shared meal with a local Turkish family or a stop at a women-run restaurant in Marrakech, these tours are designed so local cuisine and shared meal experience are central to the experience, teaching travelers how local cuisine is influenced by culture, geography and history, Berna said.

What does the future hold for vegan tourism after the pandemic? If current trends hold, it could be set for even bigger growth. Already, rapidly growing practice in the United States. GlobalData states the percentage of U.S. consumers identifying as vegan grew from 1 percent to 6 percent between 2014 and 2017, a 600 percent jump. A July 2020 survey revealed that 58 percent of American respondents said they want to eat more plant-based foods. Across the pond, according to the Vegan Society, there are roughly 600,000 vegans in the United Kingdoma significant increase from the estimated 150,000 British vegans in 2006.

And a reason for the rise in veganism may have come from Covid-19. A healthy percentage of respondents to a survey conducted by the charity Veganuary in July and August 2020 admitted the link between animal agriculture and the pandemic contributed to their decision to consume more vegan food. Furthermore, roughly one-fourth of British 21-to-30 year olds have stated the pandemic has made veganism more appealing to them. And on this side of the Atlantic, a recent report revealed that 30 percent of North American seniors are consuming more plant-based foods because of the pandemic.

So its obvious why companies like Intrepid Travel are giddy about a more lucrative future for vegan tourism. Our range of Real Food Adventures will expand, as these tours are designed for all dietary requirements, Berna asserted. Well take what weve learned from the Vegan Real Food Adventures and apply these insights and ideas to our new products.

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Photo Credit: A vegan tour in India. Intrepid Travel

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Vegan Tourism Set to Be Travels Greener Shoot With a New Emphasis on Health - Skift

Jan 22

Quarantine weight gain: Causes and tips to manage and reverse it – Medical News Today

If a person has gained some weight during the quarantine period, it is important for them not to be too self-critical. Several manageable adjustments can help people lose the weight they gained in lockdown.

Quarantine is an effective measure to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

However, life under lockdown comes with its own mental and physical challenges.

As a result of quarantine, some people may notice weight gain during the pandemic one study suggests 22% of adults reported gaining weight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many challenges and disruptions to daily routines may play a role in this.

Factors, such as less sleep, less physical exercise, and eating more, may contribute to what many refer to as the quarantine 15, referencing the weight gain that many people experience during the pandemic.

However, for those with concerns regarding weight gain, it may be possible to adapt gradual changes into daily routines that may help manage and maintain a moderate weight.

This article explores possible causes of weight gain during the pandemic and suggests some tips and strategies that may help people maintain a moderate weight.

The restrictions that quarantine places on everyday life are likely to alter and interrupt many peoples daily routines.

The rise in unstructured time, the closure of gyms and recreational centers, movement restrictions, and the enormous stress of the pandemic will all likely affect peoples sleeping patterns, eating habits, and levels of physical exercise, which may contribute to weight gain.

People may also struggle to focus on weight management due to increasing work demands, unforeseen hardships, and safety concerns.

Many potential factors may contribute to weight gain during a quarantine period. These may include:

Health concerns, financial problems, and general uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to contribute to stress.

This additional stress may alter eating behaviors and result in weight gain.

People are more likely to stress eat, which typically involves higher food consumption involving more junk food items.

The stress may also result in people feeling less motivated to exercise.

Quarantine is also likely to have a significant impact on many peoples mental health.

Research suggests the COVID-19 pandemic is causing increased levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

People experiencing mental health difficulties may also emotionally eat, contributing to weight gain.

Those struggling with their mental health may also find difficulties in maintaining the motivation for physical exercise.

However, one study suggests that instead of gaining weight, some people may view their weight in a distorted manner, causing them to think they have gained more weight than they have.

Click here to learn tips for finding motivation with depression.

Due to lockdown restrictions, people may find themselves living a more sedentary lifestyle.

Some research even suggests that active adults have seen their activity levels drop by around 32% in lockdown.

Working from home, physical distancing, and the closure of gyms, parks, and other sports facilities may contribute to this.

Quarantine restrictions may also result in people experiencing boredom, which may cause them to overeat.

People with obesity are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

A 2020 article suggests that disturbances in metabolism due to obesity contributes to negative outcomes.

In particular, experts believe having obesity leads to the reduction of adiponectin, a substance that protects the lungs.

Obesity is also a common comorbidity for other potential risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19, such as diabetes, lung disease, and heart disease.

One study suggests that people with a history of obesity, hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease may have the worst prognoses from COVID-19.

For those with obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend people follow the measures below:

People can try adopting strategies that may help them maintain a moderate weight during quarantine.

Generally, the most effective method of weight loss is a healthful diet and adequate exercise.

Some of the following tips may help promote weight loss.

People can perform a variety of exercises in the safety of their own homes.

These can include yoga, body weight exercises, or simply walking around the house.

Click here to learn more about exercising at home.

People can also try an online workout program. Typically, these programs are cheaper than gym or class memberships, while some are even free. There is a large variety to choose from, which may suit a persons preferred activity and health goals.

Research suggests that using online apps or programs for exercise can help people overcome barriers such as a lack of time, facilities, or enjoyment.

Click here to learn more about online workout programs.

Some people may also consider trying an online personal trainer (PT). Usually, an online PT will provide workout plans, nutrition plans, and advice to help people meet their fitness goals.

A 2017 review indicates that PTs can improve peoples adherence to workout plans and positively impact their attitude to exercise.

Click here to learn more about online personal trainers.

Dancing is another form of exercise that people can perform at home. Dance workout videos may provide a simple and fun way for people to stay active, with the added benefit of improving mood.

A 2020 study notes that sedentary females participating in dance fitness exercises three times per week had improved markers of both physical and mental health.

Click here to learn more about dance workout videos.

While it may be tempting to indulge in convenient or comfort food, they are typically not healthful options.

A 2018 study notes that a healthful diet is likely to be rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and high-quality proteins. A person following this type of diet may also wish to cut down on foods with added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods.

Click here to learn more about the best foods for weight loss.

If possible, it may also be beneficial for people to eat home-cooked meals as often as possible, rather than relying on takeout or ready meals.

A 2017 study suggests that people who ate five home-cooked meals per week were 28% less likely to have excess weight and 24% less likely to have excess body fat than those who ate home-cooked meals fewer than three times per week.

People can try creating daily routines to preserve a sense of normality.

This can involve scheduling regular times to wake up, eat meals, exercise, and sleep.

People can also plan their meals and set aside time for meal preparation. A 2017 study suggests a link between meal planning and a healthful diet and lower rates of obesity.

It is also important to establish a regular sleep routine and get plenty of rest. Evidence suggests there is an association between obesity and a lack of sleep.

Setting aside regular time for exercise each day may also help people maintain regular physical activity.

Some people may notice some weight gain due to quarantine restrictions. This could result from factors such as excessive stress, less exercise, and disruptions to daily routines.

However, people can introduce gradual changes to their lifestyle and diet to help maintain a moderate weight.

It is also crucial for people to go easy on themselves during these trying times. A person should not feel too self-critical if they have gained weight, as negative thoughts and emotions may have an adverse effect on their mental health.

Some tips that people may find useful include establishing a daily routine, finding a form of exercise they enjoy, planning and preparing healthful home-cooked meals, and getting plenty of sleep.

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Quarantine weight gain: Causes and tips to manage and reverse it - Medical News Today

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