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Feb 14

5 Ways to Reduce Feed Costs This Year – Pork Magazine

By Chris Hostetler, Ph.D., Director of Animal Science, National Pork Board

It may still only be February, but its clear the year wont be without challenges for U.S. pig farmers as feed costs continue to rise. As both corn and soybean meal prices surge, finding ways to reduce their impact on your bottom line is critical since combined they typically make up nearly 65% of the cost of production.

Regardless of the strategies producers use to lower feed costs, its critical to rely on the professional advice of swine nutritionists and other production experts. The focus should be on practices that optimize feed costs and efficiencies while maximizing profitability and maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet for the pigs.

1. Find alternative feed ingredients.Although you may find alternative feedstuffs and byproducts locally, you may need to look further for available sources. Many of the alternatives, outlined in the Pork Checkoffs Alternative Feed Ingredients in Swine Diets booklet, have become competitively priced during times of high grain prices as is the case with distillers grains with solubles (DDGS).

Regardless of the alternative feedstuff you find, determine its nutritional profile and feeding value at the price quoted before you decide to use it. Also, make sure to understand the form in which it will be delivered so extra labor or machinery is not required to make it practical. Examples of alternative feedstuffs include bakery products, glycerin (byproduct of biodiesel manufacturing), poultry fat, etc.

You should work closely with a swine nutritionist when making decisions about alternative feeds so that you continue to feed a nutritionally balanced diet to your animals.

Sows and older market hogs can utilize higher percentages of DDGS in their ration than other pigs. However, high levels of DDGS in market hogs may negatively affect carcass quality.

Jim Pettigrew, animal science professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, suggests the following: Buy DDGS from a plant where you have a good relationship Buy only light-colored DDGS Buy only DDGS with lysine at 2.8% minimum crude protein Avoid DDGS with a high level of syrup balls

Recommended levels of DDGS in swine diets (Univ. of Illinois)

From Stein, H.H. 2007. Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in diets fed to swine. Swine Focus #001, Department of Animal Sciences, College of ACES, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For additional technical information on feeding DDGS to livestock, go the University of Minnesotas Biofuels Co-Products in Animal Feeds website. Much of this work was funded by Pork Checkoff and is summarized in this report.

2. Use more crystalline amino acids and less animal protein.

The costs of many feed ingredients fluctuate over time. This is true of many crystalline amino acids such as lysine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, valine, and isoleucine. They have significantly decreased in price over the years and are now cheap enough to allow for the replacement of a substantial amount of soybean meal in the diet. The results can be a nutritionally balanced diet for the pigs at a real cost savings.

For starter pig diets, it pays to be very particular about animal protein ingredient sources and costs. For example, a starter diet can be nutrient-dense and high performance but still lower cost by using reduced levels of key ingredients. These include spray-dried animal plasma, soy protein concentrate, spray-dried blood meal and dried whey when high energy hulless oats and hard red spring (HRS) wheat are selected as basal grains.

3. Replace broken or damaged feeders and keep feeders in proper adjustment.Broken or damaged feeders can result in excess costs due to feed wastage or inadequate feed supply, resulting in poor pig performance. Consider replacing older or inefficient feeders with well designed, efficient feeders that minimize feed wastage and promote maximum pig performance.

Adjusting feeders to reduce feed wastage should be a routine practice. Minor adjustments of feed bins and transport systems can also result in big savings. Kansas State University recommends the following steps for proper feeder adjustment: Close feeder completely after cleaning before putting any feed in the feeder. Open feeder just enough to start small feed flow. Shake feeder to increase amount of pellets or meal in pan (to cover 1/3 of pan). Clean corners daily instead of increasing feeder adjustment to increase feed flow. Prevent moisture damage and spoilage in feed systems and storage. Eliminate all rodents, birds and other pests.

As a reference, these feeders show how much feed should be in the pans of properly adjusted feeders for nursery, grow-finish and lactation phases.

4. Be timely on culling sows, especially at weaning.

Injured animals, sows with irregular estrus, open sows and sows with reproductive abnormalities are costly to keep. Sow caregivers can be a critical help in identifying these unwanted cases. This makes teaching employees to be observant and to make daily observations so important.

Be consistent in pregnancy diagnosis to remove non-pregnant females as quickly as possible. Likewise, identify and market non-select gilts early before their growth curves change significantly making them more costly to feed for the gain realized. Marketing these animals early also prevents them from reaching a market weight out of the ideal range for your packer. This will help reduce some of these avoidable costs.

If pigs start off as poor performing, they tend to stay that way. Because of this, it often pays to be aggressive in culling of these animals before or at weaning since they are more likely to contract disease, grow more slowly and take more feed to reach an acceptable market weight.

While sick pigs may, improve after treatment, some may show little or no improvement. This makes timely euthanasia critical. Conversely, you can also try to market them in a lower weight channel. To help standardize this process, create a standard operating procedure that prescribes the conditions under which pigs should be sorted or euthanized to reduce losses and improve herd performance and economic returns.

5. Keep barn environments optimal for growth.

Dont underestimate the importance that a pigs environment plays in its ability to stay healthy and use less feed to grow to its full potential. Stocking density, air quality (in terms of ammonia levels), ventilation, air flow, humidity and ambient temperatures at pig level, all affect pig performance and comfort.

To keep tabs on these variables, be sure to review all ventilation settings to ensure they are appropriate for the pigs at each stage of production. Train employees and all caregivers to observe signs of pig discomfort such as piling or huddling. Similarly, they should check for drafts, gaps in building curtains and excess humidity levels.

On a regular basis, make sure all equipment is running at maximum efficiency and is appropriate for the job. This is especially true for any ventilation equipment and supplemental heating units to ensure proper environmental control and animal performance.

Stay Vigilant and Be Open to New Ideas

These are just five management practices that you can use to reduce feed costs during times of elevated grain prices. There are many more to consider, but the more important point is to review all management practices on a regular basis to identify areas of inefficiency so you can address them quickly. Doing so can mean the difference between black or red ink on your ledger.

Read more from Farm Journal's PORK:

2021 U.S. Pork Exports Forecast: Not Great, But Still Pretty Good

4 Things Animal Ag Can Learn from the Human Response to COVID-19

High Feed Costs? Review Your Health Program

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5 Ways to Reduce Feed Costs This Year - Pork Magazine


Feb 14

Play With Your Cats and Feed Them Meat to Save Wildlife, Study Advises – EcoWatch

Scientists were worried that this surge was slowing efforts to fix the thin protective layer in Earth's atmosphere which absorbs most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Unfiltered exposure to the sun's rays can contribute to DNA damage and increase the long-term risk of skin cancer and other health issues.

Ozone Recovery Efforts Back on Track

But on Wednesday, two studies published in science journal Nature reported that atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11 had once again dropped significantly. By late 2019, levels were falling by about 1% a year the fastest on record, according to the report showing that the world was back on track to repairing the damage to Earth's ozone layer, by mid-century.

Using data and measurements from air-monitoring stations in South Korea and Japan, scientists were able to determine that the largest source of the global increase in "rogue emissions" attributed to factories in eastern China was no longer active.

Stephen Montzka, an atmospheric chemist at U.S. scientific agency the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado, who led one of the studies, said the setback caused by the illegal emissions was expected to be "negligible."

Meg Seki, acting executive secretary of Ozone Secretariat at the UN Environment Program (UNEP), credited the reversal to international cooperation and action in line with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The international treaty, agreed in 1987 to ban the production of ozone-depleting chemicals, has been signed by almost every country in the world. CFC-11, once used in refrigerants, as propellants in aerosol cans and in polyurethane foam insulation, has been officially banned since 2010.

"The [Montreal] treaty did its job," Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, an advocacy group based in Washington, told Nature. "Whoever the offending parties were including most definitely China they got their act together."

"China also did its part in strengthening its policies, regulations, monitoring and enforcement," Seki told DW.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment in Beijing could not be reached for comment. But in an April 2020 press release, the ministry announced the first results of a two-month crackdown on the illegal production and use of CFC-11. The campaign resulted in an executive with a thermal insulation firm near Shanghai being sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined 50,000 yuan (6,400/$7,700). The company was also fined 700,000 yuan and had to forfeit more than 1.4 million yuan in profits since 2017.

"The Chinese government has always attached great importance to international environmental conventions and has been resorting to strict law enforcement as a major guarantee to safeguard the achievement China has made in implementing these conventions," the ministry said in a statement after the sentencing.

Construction Industry Crackdown

The illegal emissions first came to light in May 2018, when researchers with NASA and the NOAA noticed an unexplained spike in atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11 dating back to 2013. From 2002 and 2012, according to Nature, CFC-11 emissions fell by about 0.85% a year. But from 2013 that figure was cut almost in half, to about 0.4% the result of about 13,000 metric tons a year of newly produced CFCs in the atmosphere.

Scientists and researchers with the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) were able to trace around 60% of the illegal emissions to eastern China. Posing as buyers, EIA investigators found the use of CFC-11 was widespread in China's plastic foam sector. The banned chemical is cheaper than the alternatives and was found to be widely used to produce more effective insulators for the booming construction industry.

"Our investigations revealed widespread illegal use of CFC-11 in China as a blowing agent for the production of polyurethane (PU) foams," said Clare Perry, a climate campaign leader with EIA. "The information we provided kickstarted a nationwide inspection and enforcement action by China, which has clearly been successful."

'Wake-Up Call' for Montreal Protocol

According to EIA, companies admitted to mislabeling the banned CFC-11 as hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) compounds and other chemicals. China, which joined the Montreal Protocol in 1991 and said it successfully ended the industrial use of CFCs in 2007, questioned the conclusions of the EIA study. Nevertheless, the government said in mid-2019 it would boost monitoring efforts and impose penalties on companies caught illegally producing the chemical.

"The action taken in 2018 by China in response to our investigations appears to have led to an immediate reduction of CFC-11 emissions," said Perry. "This issue should be a wake-up call to the Montreal Protocol the failure to detect the illegal CFC-11 production and use prior to its scientific discovery compels a very serious look at the current monitoring, reporting and verification systems."

Perry told DW the parties to the Montreal Protocol were already talking about how to expand the atmospheric monitoring network, but said more change was necessary. "They need to consider how they can ensure long-term compliance and enforcement, particularly considering the challenges of taking on new controls of HFCs with the Kigali Amendment."

The Kigali Amendment, which entered into force in 2019, aims to also phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which were developed to replace CFCs in the 1990s but act as potent greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change.

"Addressing the existing gaps in monitoring, and filling those gaps strategically with new monitoring stations, would help to improve the detection of regional emissions of ozone depleting substances," said Seki of UNEP.

At the projected recovery rates, UNEP has said the ozone layer over the Northern Hemisphere and the regions around the equator "will heal completely" by the 2030s, the Southern Hemisphere by the 2050s and the polar regions by the 2060s.

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Play With Your Cats and Feed Them Meat to Save Wildlife, Study Advises - EcoWatch


Feb 14

Meatier meals and more playtime might reduce cats toll on wildlife – Science News Magazine

Surprisingly simple measures might keep domestic cats from killing a lot of wildlife.

Estimates vary, but its likely that billions of birds and mammals succumb each year to our outdoor-ranging feline friends (SN: 1/29/13). Calls to keep cats indoors are often contentious among cat owners, and cats can sometimes reject colorful collars or loud bells designed to make them more noticeable.

But a meat-rich diet or a few minutes of hunting-like play each day can significantly reduce the amount of wildlife they bring home, researchers report February 11 in Current Biology.

Interventions that reduce cat predation and have buy-in from cat owners are so important because were just decimating bird populations, says Susan Willson, an ecologist at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., who wasnt involved in the study. While preliminary, she says this study shows that simply feeding your cat a high-meat diet might actually work.

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Most attempts to curb cats impact on wildlife have focused on restricting cat behavior and their ability to hunt. But Robbie McDonald, an ecologist at the University of Exeter in Cornwall, England, and his colleagues investigated the root of the problem: the urge to go out hunting in the first place. We wanted to find out why well-fed cats might still kill wildlife, he says.

The team reasoned this urge might stem from natural instincts to hunt, or from a need for cats to supplement their diet. Cats are carnivores, and some cat foods might not be meeting all a cats needs, McDonald says. If either of these influence hunting behavior, then perhaps beefing up the amount of meat in a cats diet or mimicking hunting behavior through play could fulfill those needs without the collateral damage to wildlife.

McDonald and his colleagues tested these new interventions on 355 domestic cats in 219 households in Englands southwest. Only known hunters were enrolled, and owners first tallied up every bird, mammal or other critter their cats brought home for seven weeks, to establish a baseline for each cat.

Owners then implemented one of a handful of interventions for six weeks: switching to a grain-free, high-meat commercially available food; playing for five to 10 minutes each day; putting their cats normal food in a puzzle feeder; and existing methods like bells or Birdsbesafe collars. Some owners didnt change anything, but continued tracking their cats.

Cats fed the meat-rich diet brought home 36 percent less prey, on average, than they did before the diet change, the team calculated. For instance, a cat that normally brings home a daily catch would instead return about 20 critters a month. This might not seem like very much, McDonald says of the drop. But a very large cat population means that if this average were applied across the board, it would result in very many millions fewer deaths.

Felines treated to playtime, which consisted of owners getting their cats to stalk, chase and pounce on a feather toy and then giving cats a mouse toy to bite, returned 25 percent less prey, though that drop came mostly from mammals, not birds. Cats that started using puzzle feeders actually brought home more wildlife. Bells had no discernible effect, while cats fitted with Birdsbesafe collars brought home 42 percent fewer birds, but roughly the same number of mammals, which aligns with previous research.

We were surprised diet change had such a strong effect, McDonald says, in part because the cats pretreatment diets were all variable. Nutrition seems to have some bearing on a cats tendency to kill things and some cats that hunt may need something extra thats provided by a meatier diet, he says. McDonald is already working to pinpoint what that extra something might be.

Its a robust study that I hope is followed up with more research, says Willson, the St. Lawrence ecologist. Because the study focused on prey brought home, it could be missing wildlife killed and eaten or left outside, she says.

The surest way to prevent cats from killing wildlife is to keep them indoors, McDonald says. While many cat owners care about wildlife, they also resist such restrictions as unnatural for their cat. But McDonald found these new interventions were less controversial. After the trial, 33 percent of participants reported they planned to continue feeding their cats meat-rich diets, and 76 percent reported theyd play more with their cats.

We hope that owners of cats who hunt consider trying these changes, McDonald says. Its good for conservation and good for cats.

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Meatier meals and more playtime might reduce cats toll on wildlife - Science News Magazine


Feb 9

Bespoke nutrition and fitness: More than a fad, essential for mental health – Binghamton University

By Natalie Blando-George

February 09, 2021

Customized diets and lifestyle changes could be key to optimizing mental health according to Binghamton University researcher Lina Begdache, PhD 08, whose work was published in Nutrients in December 2020.

There is increasing evidence that diet plays a major role in improving mental health, but everyone is talking about a healthy diet, said Begdache, an assistant professor in the Health and Wellness Studies Division of Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

We need to consider a spectrum of dietary and lifestyle changes based on different age groups and gender, she said. There is not one healthy diet that will work for everyone. There is not one fix.

Lina Begdache is an assistant professor in Binghamton University's Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

She and her research team conducted an online survey to examine food intake, dietary practices, exercise and other lifestyle factors in these four subpopulations. Over a five-year period (2014-19), more than 2,600 participants completed the questionnaire after responding to social media posts advertising the survey. The team collected data at different timepoints and seasons and found important dietary and lifestyle contributors to mental distress defined as anxiety and depression in each of the groups.

Key findings of this study:

The study also found there were seasonal and geographic triggers that affect mental well-being.

Begdache and her team split the respondents into two age groups because human brain development continues into the late 20s. For young adults of both genders, quality of diet appears to have an impact on the developing brain.

Young adults are still forming new connections between brain cells as well as building structures; therefore, they need more energy and nutrients to do that, Begdache said.

As a result, young adults who consume a poor-quality diet and experience nutritional deficiencies may suffer from a higher degree of mental distress.

Age is also the reason high caffeine consumption was associated with mental distress in both young men and young women.

Caffeine is metabolized by the same enzyme that metabolizes the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, and young adults have high levels of these hormones, Begdache said. When young men and women consume high levels of caffeine, it stays in their system for a long time and keeps stimulating the nervous system, which increases stress and eventually leads to anxiety.

This is an important finding, since young adults tend to consume high levels of coffee, energy drinks and soda, most of which are loaded with caffeine.

The team also split respondents based on biological sex, since brain morphology and connectivity differ between men and women. Put simply, the male brain is wired to enable perception and coordination, whereas the female brain is built to support analysis and intuition. Begdache and her team believe these differences may influence nutritional needs.

I have found it in my multiple studies so far, that men are less likely to be affected by diet than women are, said Begdache. As long as they eat a slightly healthy diet they will have good mental well-being. Its only when they consume mostly fast food that we start seeing mental distress.

Women, on the other hand, really need to be consuming a whole spectrum of healthy food and doing exercise in order to have positive mental well-being, she added. These two things are important for mental well-being in women across age groups.

While the research team didnt find many foods associated with mental distress in mature men, nuts were shown to have a positive effect on their mental health. Consuming nuts has been shown to strengthen the brainwave frequencies associated with different cortical regions in the brain.

Interestingly, men with a high level of education reported greater mental well-being than those with lower levels of education. According to Begdache, higher education improves brain efficiency and may alleviate the impact of age on brain function connectivity.

Education works the same way as exercise on the brain, Begdache said. Using your muscles causes the brain to release a growth factor that is the same one released doing cognitive functions.

According to Begdache, current recommendations for food intake are all based on physical health; there are no recommendations for mental health.

She hopes that will change and that her work will play a role in making those changes.

I hope to see more people doing research in this area and publishing on the customization of diet based on age and gender, she said. I hope that one day, institutions and governments will create dietary recommendations for brain health.

Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle and Mental Distress among Young and Mature Men and Women: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study, appeared in the Dec. 23, 2020, issue of Nutrients.

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Bespoke nutrition and fitness: More than a fad, essential for mental health - Binghamton University


Feb 9

Weight loss: Know major points of difference between the Vegan diet and the Mediterranean diet – Times Now

Weight loss: Know major points of difference between the Vegan diet and the Mediterranean diet   |  Photo Credit: iStock Images

New Delhi: We all understand the importance of a healthy diet for weight loss. While the main motive of a weight loss diet is to help us eat healthier, all diets are different and work on different principles. For instance, a low-carb weight loss diet works on the principle of calorie deficit, while a Ketogenic diet works on burning fat for energy.

Two diets that have recently become very popular for their multiple health benefits include the Vegan diet and the Mediterranean diet. While both of them have their own set of advantages, a recent study has said that the Vegan diet may be a better choice for weight watchers, as compared to the Mediterranean diet.

A vegan diet is more effective for weight loss and cholesterol control than a Mediterranean diet, a new study suggests.

The findings of the study have been published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The findings suggest that participants lost an average of 6 kilograms on the vegan diet, compared with no mean change on the Mediterranean diet.

"Previous studies have suggested that both Mediterranean and vegan diets improve body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors, but until now, their relative efficacy had not been compared in a randomized trial," said researcher Hana Kahleova from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization in the US, reported IANS.

Researchers said that a low-fat vegan diet has better outcomes for weight, body composition, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol levels, compared with a Mediterranean diet.

While both the diets are healthy, the following differences make them different from each other. These factors may or may not make the vegan diet a better choice for weight loss.

Mediterranean diet also consists of various foods that improve health. These include fatty fish, olive oil, among others.

Bottom line

A healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle are more important than anything else when it comes to maintaining your weight. While diet choices have their pros and cons, just the diet cannot help you stay healthy if you do not find a balance, and take other factors into account.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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Feb 9

What Students Are Saying About Healthy Diets, Wild Weather and the Consequences of Social Media – The New York Times

Especially for teens, I feel that it is very hard to eat healthy. When we are with friends, its never lets go get a salad or maybe we should cut back on our calories. Its always what fast food place sounds the best right now; and that place is usually Chick-fil-A. But, as the pandemic rolled around, I wasnt able to see my friends hardly at all. Meaning I had more control over every meal I had. With a combination of my dads teaching and a strong desire to get shredded for the summer, I ate one of the healthiest diets imaginable.

Most people can agree that they want to eat healthy and get in shape. Well, now is the time to do so. You have so much control over what you eat right now and what you do during the day. With school being only a few hours long and sports being cancelled, now is the time to eat healthy and focus on getting in shape.

Jack, Desmond

At the start of quarantine everything was closed. Because gyms and other places to work out were closed, it was my responsibility to get myself moving each day. If you dont know, exercise creates happy chemicals in your brain, causing your mood (and health) to improve. When I wasnt working out as consistently, there was a steep decline in my mental health. I was just kind of sad all of the time and I felt drained. And so, I reached for food as a way to help me cope. It was nothing too extreme, I didnt have an eating disorder or anything, but that was my way of coping with what was going on. That cycle of not feeling great, then reaching for food, and then feeling worse, continued for a few weeks.

I was probably at an all-time low and I wasnt feeling great about myself. I began to start running to get myself into shape, and started cooking more often. My family assigned my siblings and I one night to cook dinner for the family, and I thought that was fun and almost therapeutic. And so, I got really into cooking for myself and in turn, started eating healthier. I try to pay attention to the foods I eat, but I never obsess about it, because I know that can lead to toxic cycles and patterns. I try to fit in fruits and veggies when I can, but I dont always get my five a day in.

Keener, Hoggard HS Wilmington, NC

Your diet is essential for many aspects of your life whether you realize it or not. And though Covid-19 has made it more difficult for many to have access to fresh produce and healthy food options it shouldnt be an excuse to not be educated how to eat properly and make good food decisions. In fact, Covid-19 was one of the reasons I chose to become vegetarian. I wanted to have more control over my diet and cook at home more. This provided the me with the opportunity, through trial and error to see how my diet affected my body and mind. I was astonished to find that by eating more fruits and vegetables I had more energy and I actually began to enjoy learning new recipes and cooking for myself. It also made me realize just how much Id been depriving myself of a very important part of any diet, fiber. And this is why I believe that its essential for people to think more deeply about what they chose to put into their body, because you only have one.

Jason J., Glenbard West HS Glen Ellyn, IL

This year my taste has changed in food, meaning my diet looks completely different from last year. I have cut all soda from my diet and replaced it with water. I have been eating healthier foods like salads, turkey, and chicken. The most important part to me about having not only a clean input of food but a good consistent exercise routine, without working out eating healthy has little impact.

Badr Abusalah, Palestine

As an athlete, I try to maintain a healthy diet and to be cognizant of what I eat and drink. While I certainly eat fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains, I also enjoy dessert, pancakes, and more everything in moderation! However, I do think that it is important to note the harm of perpetuating diet culture, especially in teens. Eating disorders are widespread and incredibly common, and putting too much emphasis on food itself can lead to unhealthy practices. Rather than focusing on eating healthy to look a certain way, we should promote the concept of eating healthy for just that: health. To make sure that teenagers are eating according to Ms. Carons recommendations, we should recommend tasty ways to eat fruits and vegetables (for instance, a healthy smoothie) and promote healthy eating to feel better, perform better in sports, and be ones best self, rather than for physical appearance.

Sarah Faz, Mountain View, CA

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What Students Are Saying About Healthy Diets, Wild Weather and the Consequences of Social Media - The New York Times


Feb 9

The 3 nutrition rules professional athletes swear by that we can all use to eat healthier – Insider – Insider

Dr. Mike Molloy is a nutrition coach who has worked with professional athletes including Icelandic weightlifter and CrossFit athlete Sara Sigmundsdottir, CrossFitter and UK's fittest man Zack George, Brazilian goalkeeper Aline Reis, world judo champion An Changrim, 4th fittest woman on earth Haley Adams, and more.

From weight lifters to wake surfers and freeskiers to footballers, Molloy has helped a wide variety of professional athletes nail their nutrition so they can perform at their peak but also enjoy their lifestyle.

Many of the principles used by elite athletes apply just as much to the rest of us, and by learning from the pros we can all develop healthier eating practices and mindsets around food.

Many people presume elite athletes consume all sorts of supplements and follow peculiar food rules, but this isn't generally the case.

For the most part, athletes are focused on doing the basics really well: eating a high quality, balanced diet, consuming enough protein, and staying hydrated.

Read more: The UK's fittest man eats 4,000 calories a day. Here's what his diet looks like.

According to Molloy, it's a misconception that all professional athletes have private chefs (only the biggest stars do), so they're focused on complementing their training by minimizing processed foods, drinking lots of water, and sleeping well.

"Sleep and hydration might seem tangential to nutrition, but they are incredibly important for driving good nutritional behaviors," Molloy told Insider.

The difference between athletes and the average person is that their livelihood depends on their physical performance, and although that can be a motivator to eat well, we can all approach our diets that way.

Athletes are focused on eating for performance, rather than aesthetics.

"They aren't sitting there thinking, 'How can I be lighter and leaner?' they're focused on fueling their life, which is driven by performance," Molloy said.

Dr. Mike Molloy is is the founder of nutrition coaching business M2 Performance Nutrition. Dr Mike Molloy

And this mindset is a critical component for eating well.

"It's not restriction-based, it's goal-oriented. Not 'How can I eat as little as possible?' but 'How can I eat the right amount to fuel my training so that I'm energized throughout the day, not feeling sluggish, and I'm not hangry?'"

Depending on the athlete and the event, Molloy might ask one of his clients to really dial in their nutrition in the few weeks leading up to a competition, but the rest of the time, there are no foods off the table.

So yes, that means athletes eat pizza and ice cream too. And critically, they don't freak out about it, feel guilty afterwards, and fall into a binge-restrict cycle.

A post shared by Sara Sigmundsdottir (@sarasigmunds)

"It's not about never going out for dinner or never eating chocolate, we just build it into their routine," Molloy said."As serious as they are as athletes, it's not about being perfect."

He continued: "Maybe two months before their real peak of their season, that's when we start to really dial in as much as possible. Maybe the ice cream gets replaced with white rice or oats."

Read more: The 5 principles that helped Tia-Clair Toomey become the fittest woman in the world and how she trains to stay there

The approach taken by Molloy and these athletes is about creating long-term plans that work for their life, so no one is ever told they can't have pizza.

"If elite athletes are doing this and still able to perform at their best and train at their best, it's the same for the average person," said Molloy. "It's not about perfection, it's about progress."

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The 3 nutrition rules professional athletes swear by that we can all use to eat healthier - Insider - Insider


Feb 9

Add these foods to your diet to beat cancer – The Indian Express

Whenever you are recuperating from an illness, or are looking to gain your strength, it is advisable that you eat healthy. It is known that your diet plays a significant role in reducing the risk of many diseases, including cancer. Shweta Mahadik, a dietician at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, advises that people, especially those undergoing treatment for cancer, incorporate certain fruits and vegetables in their diet so as to slow down its growth and reduce certain side-effects of treatment.

* Apples: Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzine, and chlorogenic acid, which are major antioxidants. Apples are a good source of dietary fibre and polyphenol compounds that work with gut microbes to boost cancer-fighting defences. Many studies have found consumption of apples can lower the risk of estrogen receptor, which is the negative form of breast cancer.

* Oranges: Some citrus fruits, particularly tangerines and oranges, have anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity. It is noted that individuals who eat citrus fruit daily have a lower risk of certain cancers, including those of lung, colorectal, and stomach. Two flavonoids abundant in citrus fruits are nobiletin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which have been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of tumors.

* Cranberries: Cranberry contains ursolic acid and proanthocyanidins. Regular consumption of cranberry extract inhibits the growth of breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, glioblastoma, leukemia, lung cancer, melanoma, oral cavity cancer, prostate cancer, and renal cancer cell lines.

* Berries: Berries are a rich source of many nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, carotenoids, folate, calcium, selenium, simple and complex phenols and phytosterols. Anthocyanosides and resveratrol are one of the most active antioxidants found in blueberries. These antioxidants have anti-cancer effects, including radical scavenging activity, activation of phase II detoxifying enzymes, and decreased proliferation and inflammation of cells. Resveratrol, which is also found in the skin of red grapes, has several health benefits. It also displays chemotherapeutic properties such as anti-inflammation.

The dietician suggests some ideas for improving your cancer therapy response:

If there is the loss of appetite:

Eat five or six smaller meals per day Start with a high-protein diet while your appetite is strongest Keep favourite high-calorie foods and beverages within easy reach Try to be as physically active as you can, to help stimulate your appetite

For nausea and vomiting:

Have small and frequent meals Eating foods and sipping on clear liquids at room temperature or cooler may be easier to tolerate Avoid high-fat, greasy, spicy, or overly sweet foods Avoid foods with a strong odour Sip on beverages between meals rather than with meals For vomiting, avoid eating until vomiting is controlled, then try sipping on small amounts of clear liquids such as broth or cranberry juice. It may also be beneficial to nibble on plain foods such as bread, khakra, crackers

For fatigue:

Try to drink plenty of fluids. Being dehydrated can make fatigue worse. Aim for at least eight cups of hydrating fluid each day unless advised to restrict fluids for another medical condition. Hydrating fluids include water, fruit juices, broth, soup, smoothies.

Diarrhoea:

Drink plenty of liquids such as water, fruit juices, soup broth, lemon water, black tea with lemon Eat small amounts of soft, bland foods Include water-soluble foods such as bananas, apple, oats in your diet

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Add these foods to your diet to beat cancer - The Indian Express


Feb 9

The 8 Foods to Eat to Prevent Heart Disease According to a Doctor – The Beet

If you want to eat to be heart healthier, starting today, stock these foods and eat them daily, since each one has provenbenefits thatwhenadded into a whole-foods, plant-based diet and eaten regularly over timewill help lower your cholesterol,reduce chronic inflammation on a cellular level, and increase your energy, by delivering nutrients in a fiber-filled package.

When you eat a mostly whole-food, plant-based diet, your body begins to run more smoothly, burn fat faster, and feel less sluggish than if you eat a diet high in animal fat, processed food, and simple sugars. To be heart healthy in the future and feel great now, add these 8 foods to your daily diet, according to Dr. Loretta T. Friedman,founder ofSynergy Health Associates.

Dr. Loretta, as she asks her patients to call her,has been in clinical practice for over 25 years, having once served as a nurse in a transplant center and later opening her chiropractic practice in 1994. She has a masters degree in nutrition and is an expert in womens health. Dr. Lorettatreats patients seeking help with metabolic detoxification, anti-aging, and lymphatic drainage. In an interview with The Beet last fall, Dr. Loretta explained that her inspiration for helping people improve their dietsstarted when she was a nurse andshe witnessed first-hand whatcleaning up one's diet can do to overall health and wellbeing.

When she was an OR nurse, workingin cardiothoracic surgery, open-heart surgery, and kidney transplants out at UCSF San Francisco, she witnessed the dramatic health changes that occurred when patients drastically changed their diets.Cleaning up your diet, before you get sick is the best form of medicine since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are Dr. Loretta's top 8 foods to eat to be heart-healthy now and later.

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are jam-packed with important antioxidants that play a central role in heart health.

Blueberriesare also rich in nutrients likeVitamin K, which is also great for prostate health,

Raspberries are full of fiber. A quartercup of organic raspberries has the equivalent amount of fiber as 6 bran muffins, which helpsto reduce cholesterol. Berries as a whole protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease

Leafy green vegetables, like organic spinach, kale, and collard greens are well-known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Their phytochemicals are linked with cardiovascular benefits.

High levels of Vitamin K in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale is good for heart health. A study hasshown that deficient amounts of Vitamin K can lead to a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy(LVH), which is an enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart, even among young people, putting them at increased risk of heart disease.

Common types of whole grains include quinoa and kaniwa which are low on the inflammation scale, meaning eating them actually helps fight chronic inflammation in the body, which occurs on a cellular level, making it a silent symptom that can lead to high blood pressure and other diseases.

All other (non-whole) grains are high on the inflammatory scale, so don't confuse quinoa or brown rice with cereals that use the word "grains" on the box, but are overly processed and full of added sugars.

Some people stay away from avocados because they're high in fat, but in fact, avocadosare an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to reduced levels of cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. Eating an avocado a day may even help your body burn fat as fuel. (Fats can be confusing, since saturated fat, found in animal products like meat and dairy, is unhealthy and is the precursor to high cholesterol, and clogging of the arteries (or plaque blockages.) The opposite is true of many plant-based fats, which are either mono- or poly-unsaturated fats, and which offer your body healthy calories and fuel without sticking to the inside of your blood vessels. So enjoy avocados, nuts, olives, and seeds, all of which contain healthy fats.

If you don't eat fish because you are taking a fully plant-based approach, then you can still get your Omega-3 Fatty Acids from flax seeds, which areloaded with omega-3 fatty acids. There is a mountain of research showing that Omega-3 helps counter-balance the junk food and chemicals that get broken down into Omega 6s in the body.

So while you need a range of healthy fats, the one you're least likely to already be getting from food is Omega-3, which has beencredited as reducinginflammation and helping boost brain health

Walnuts are a great source of fiber and micronutrients like magnesium, copper, and manganese, which help your body function at its optimal level. Walnuts alsocontain Omega-3, a natural anti-inflammatory in the body. Research shows that incorporating a few servings of walnuts in your diet can help protect against heart disease.

In a large study on nuts and health, researchers looked at the dietary habits of 210,000 health professionals and found that people who ate one ounce of nuts five or more times a week had a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease. Walnuts are also good for brain health.

Multiple studies have also found that eating beans can reduce risk factors for heart disease. Beans contain resistant starch, which resists digestion and is fermented by the beneficial bacteria in your gut. According to some animal studies, resistant starch can improve heart health by decreasing blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.

Alllegumes reduce the risk for heart disease and high blood pressure, according to areviewpublished inAdvances in Nutrition. People who ate the mostbeans orlegumeshad 10 percent lower rates ofheart disease compared to those whoate the least amount of beans.

Dark Chocolate is rich in antioxidants, especially flavonoids, which can help boost heart health. Eating a little bit of dark chocolate a day appears to reduce blood pressure, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And one study out of Finlandshows that dark chocolate may reduce strokes, while anotherDutch study found that eating 6 ounces of dar cocoa powder a week lowered the risk of irregular heartbeat. So, finish your meal with a small square or two of the purest dark chocolate you can find.

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The 8 Foods to Eat to Prevent Heart Disease According to a Doctor - The Beet


Feb 9

Committee on World Food Security kicks off calling for comprehensive transformation of agri-food systems – World – ReliefWeb

FAO Director-General highlights the need to step up joint efforts to make agri-food systems more inclusive, resilient and sustainable to meet the Sustainable Development Goals

8 February 2020, Rome - The 47th Session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has kicked off today with a call to step up joint action towards a comprehensive transformation of global agri-food systems, in order to make them more inclusive, resilient and sustainable, as well as to tap their potential to contribute to the fight against poverty, hunger , all forms of malnutrition, and inequality.

According to the FAO latest estimates, hunger is on the rise with nearly 690 million being chronically undernourished and up to 130 million more being added because of COVID-19. Two billion people consume low quality diets that cause micronutrient deficiencies and contribute to diet-related obesity and non-communicable diseases. More than 3 billion people have no access to healthy diets.

Speaking at the CFS opening session, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu noted that the COVID-19 pandemic maypush some 100 million people into extreme poverty and many more into chronic hunger and malnutrition. He also stressed that unsustainable agri-food systems continue to put pressure on natural resources, biodiversity, the environment, and climate.

Stressing that the pandemic has prompted the global community to rethink the way food is produced, processed and consumed, Qu urged all partners "to work together in harmony and solidarity to make agri-food systems more inclusive, resilient and sustainable." To this end, he highlighted the crucial role CFS plays by promoting policy convergence and coherence.

"As the host of the CFS Secretariat and one of its funders, FAO strongly values the Committee's potential, as a unique global platform for multi-stakeholder engagement, in the fight against hunger and malnutrition," he said.

CFS instruments

The Director-General also noted the importance of translating CFS products and recommendations into concrete action on the ground, at regional, country, and local levels, which requires the strong engagement of all stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector.

"This means integrating the CFS policy frameworks, as appropriate, into national dialogues, legislative frameworks, as well as national, regional and global development efforts," he said, alluding to the CFS Guidelines on Land Tenure, the CFS Principles for Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems , the Framework for Action for food security and nutrition in protracted crises and the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, which are expected to be endorsed on Wednesday.

Qu highlighted that all CFS products should always rely on clear science and evidence and stated that FAO is ready to support the Committee on the main topics in its agenda for 2021: reducing inequalities, youth engagement and data systems.

New FAO

The Director-General also spoke about the fundamental transformative action FAO has taken over the last 18 months to refocus its efforts in alignment with the Organization's original mandate to eradicate hunger and poverty.

As an example, the Director-General pointed to the FAO's evidence-based, country-led and country-owned Hand-in-Hand Initiative, which aims to accelerate agricultural, transformation and sustainable rural development, accompanied by its state-of-the-art digital tools, including the Hand-in-Hand Geospatial Platform, the Data Lab for statistical innovation and Earth Map.

Among other notable developments, Qu cited FAO's holistic COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, which harnesses science, technology, data, human enterprise and creativity; as well as the Organization's recently introduced new Strategy for Private Sector Engagement to enhance strategic partnerships towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

"We strongly believe that accelerating and scaling up science, technology and innovation is key to meeting the aspiration of transforming our agri-food systems and moving towards achieving the SDGs, especially SDG1 (No poverty), SDG2 (No hunger) and SDG10 (Reduced inequalities)," he said.

The Director-General also welcomed nine countries who have recently joined the CFS, namely Croatia, Djibouti, Honduras, Latvia, Maldives, Moldova, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Ukraine.

Other speakers

During the opening session, UN Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit Agnes Kalibata delivered a message on behalf of United Nations Secretary-General Antnio Guterres in which he underscored that 2021 would be pivotal for achieving SDG2 (eradicating hunger) as food security and nutrition were the most pressing development, security and human rights issues of our time.

He called for fundamental systematic change to address hunger, sustainability and malnutrition while respecting human rights, alleviating poverty and supporting inclusive and sustainable development for all which he said were core to his thinking behind the Food Systems Summit later this year in New York, and the pre-Summit in Rome in July. "The Committee on World Food Security has an important role to play in this Summit, from the reports of its High-level Panel of Experts, to the policy convergence products," Guterres added.

For his part, CFS Chair and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN Agencies in Rome, Thanawat Tiensin, stressed that the work of CFS has never been more relevant than before, as the Committee can provide evidence-based policy guidance to overcome current challenges and uncertainties ahead. He added that the UN Food systems Summit 2021 in September would be an opportunity to build on this momentum.

President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gilbert F. Houngbo referred to the current pandemic as the wake up call to address the multiple complex challenges facing food systems and underlined the need for making them more resilient and responsive to the needs of consumers and producers alike.

In his video address, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley said that the combined effects of climate change, conflict and now the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a lot of damage on affected communities around the world, stressing the vital role CFS must play to address this global humanitarian crisis while pledging his support to the Committee's critical work.

The Chair of the CFS High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) Steering Committee Martin Cole presented the key outcomes of the HLPE's new report on "Food security and nutrition: building a global narrative towards 2030". The report is based on the analysis of food security and nutrition concepts, outcomes, drivers and critical policy directions that are vital for meeting SDG 2 targets and the entire 2030 Agenda.

He noted that according to the report we are not on track to reach the Agenda 2030 underlining that business as usual will not be enough while pointing to the need for a transformative change to our food systems.

About CFS47

CFS is the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all.

The 47th session (8-11 February) comes against a background of the unprecedented challenges posed by the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic on our food systems and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide.

During a four-days long session, the Committee is expected to endorse new Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, resulting from an inclusive multistakeholder negotiation process, and informed by the scientific input of the CFS High Level Panel of Experts and a Technical Task Team from among the CFS Advisory Group constituencies.

These guidelines will serve as a significant reference point for countries and others in their efforts to eradicate all forms of hunger and malnutrition by utilizing a "food systems" approach. The guidelines will also be an important contribution to the UN Food Systems Summit scheduled to take place in September this year.

The Committee will also initiate work to develop new Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment as related to food security and nutrition.

Originally posted here:
Committee on World Food Security kicks off calling for comprehensive transformation of agri-food systems - World - ReliefWeb



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