A new study finds that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day is tied to a lower risk of heart disease and death compared to drinking no coffee at all. Coffee consumption is also associated with a lower risk of some cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia.
On the downside, however, drinking coffee may be linked to a very small increased risk of fracture in women and may be associated with some harms if consumed during pregnancy.
For the study, a research team led by Dr. Robin Poole, Specialist Registrar in Public Health at the University of Southampton in the UK, with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, conducted an umbrella review of 201 observational studies as well as 17 studies that had collected data from clinical trials across all countries and all settings.
The findings show that coffee consumption was consistently associated with a lower risk of death from all causes and from heart disease, with the greatest reduction in relative risk of death at three cups a day, compared with non-coffee drinkers.
Coffee was also tied to a lower risk of several cancers, including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gout. The greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver.
Finally, the researchers also found beneficial associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Drinking more than three cups a day was not associated with harm, but the beneficial effect was less pronounced.
The included studies used mainly observational data, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, but the findings back up other recent reviews and studies of coffee consumption.
Many of the included studies may have adjusted for factors that may be associated with both the health outcome and with coffee drinking, such as smoking. This was not comprehensive and varied from study to study. The authors can therefore not rule out the effect of such factors on the apparent harmful or beneficial associations.
The authors conclude that coffee drinking “seems safe within usual patterns of consumption, except during pregnancy and in women at increased risk of fracture.” And they call for robust randomized controlled trials “to understand whether the key observed associations are causal.”
In a linked editorial, Eliseo Guallar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says that until it can be proven that coffee intake is generally safe, doctors should not recommend drinking coffee to prevent disease — and people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons.
Furthermore, coffee is often consumed with products rich in refined sugars and unhealthy fats, “and these may independently contribute to adverse health outcomes,” Guallar said.
However, even with these warnings, “moderate coffee consumption seems remarkably safe, and it can be incorporated as part of a healthy diet by most of the adult population,” he said.
The research is published in the journal The BMJ.
With Thanksgiving nearly here, it's a good time to point out that more than an estimated 10 percentof Americans (over 33 million people) eat their holiday meals at a restaurant. So it's no wonder that so many national restaurant chains stay open to serve up some turkey and pie to patrons.
Whether you're too busy to plan a feast for your loved ones or you simply want to take a well-earned holiday off from all the preparations, here's a list of some of the most popular restaurants open on Thanksgiving. Just be sure to check with your restaurant beforehand because hours will vary by location.
by Liz Moody MBG Sr. Food Editor
1. The fountain of youth may be found in chocolate and red wine, according to science.
New research out of the United Kingdom found reservalouges (compounds similar to reservatrol) can prompt old cells to start diving again, turning aging cells into younger-looking cells. More research is needed, but this can have huge implications on the science of aging. We'll cheers to that! (Medical News Today)
2. There's a new type of diabetes—type 3, diabetes of the brain—that's been linked to Alzheimer's.
A new study out of the National Institute of Aging shows that high brain glucose levels, also known as type 3 diabetes, could be a glucose metabolism malfunction that eventually leads to Alzeheimer's disease. Just in case you needed one more reason to lay off the sugar, move regularly, and keep hormones in balance. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
3. You might want to add extra mushrooms to your next pizza order.
According to a new study out of Penn State University, mushrooms have large amounts of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione, both of which have anti-aging properties. "What we found is that, without a doubt, mushrooms are highest dietary source of these two antioxidants taken together, and that some types are really packed with both of them," said Robert Beelman, a professor of food science and director of the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health. (Penn State News)
4. If you want to prevent back pain, work out.
According to a new study, people who exercise are 33 percent less likely to develop lower back pain than those who do. And if you already have back pain, all hope is not lost: The same study found that regular exercise reduces the severity of back pain. (Reuters)
5. Denver's rooftops are going green.
In the local election this week, the city voted to pass a measure requiring all large new buildings to be built with solar panels or rooftop gardens for shade. Other major urban centers like San Francisco, New York, Paris, and London have recently passed similar initiatives. (ABC News)
6. China is cleaning up its act.
The amount of sulfur dioxide, an air pollutant produced primarily by burning coal, in China's air has fallen 75 percent since 2007, thanks in large part to fining polluters. However, the country still has work to do cleaning other chemicals like CO2. (Yale Environment 360)
7. The former co-CEO of Whole Foods is betting big on food waste.
Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, has joined the board of directors of FoodMaven, a company that aims to reduce food waste by taking surplus food from grocery stores and selling it to restaurants. "FoodMaven is going straight at the growing challenge of food waste and has created an imaginative and innovative market-based approach to using more of what we produce," says Robb, adding that he's excited to help the company grow. (The Gazette)
More than 160 million people in the U.S. drink coffee or tea on a regular basis, and many of them use sugar, cream, flavored syrups or other calorie-laden additives in their drinks of choice.
A new analysis reveals just how much Americans are adding to their caloric intake by spicing up or sweetening their coffee or tea.
The data in the research suggest that more than 51 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee and nearly 26 percent drink tea on any given day.
Roughly two-thirds of the coffee drinkers and one-third of the tea drinkers put sugar, cream, flavorings or other calorie-rich additives in their drinks.
“Many people prefer drinking coffee and tea with sugar, cream, half-and-half or honey,” a researcher said.
“These add-in items are often dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value.”
Milk products add a bit of calcium to the diet, but the amount – 22 milligrams per day, on average – is negligible. The daily recommended calcium intake is 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams, depending on one’s age and pregnancy status.
Those who drink their coffee black consume about 69 fewer total calories per day, on average, than those who add sweeteners, cream or other substances to their coffee.
More than 60 percent of those calories come from sugar, with fat accounting for most of the rest of the extra calories consumed.
Tea drinkers tend to add fewer calorie-dense substances to their tea if they add anything at all, the analysis found.
“Compared with adding nothing to one’s tea, drinking tea with caloric add-ins increased daily caloric intake by more than 43 calories, on average, with nearly 85 percent of those added calories coming from sugar,” the author said.
The daily intakes may seem small, but the extra calories every day can add up to extra pounds.
“Our findings indicate that a lot of coffee and tea drinkers regularly use caloric add-ins to improve the flavor of their beverages, but possibly without fully realizing or taking into consideration its caloric and nutritional implications,” he said.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only eat one food the rest of your life, pizza wouldn’t be a bad way to go. But if you're trying to lose weight, it's definitely not the obvious choice.
However, according to the New York Post, one New York City chef (and Naples, Italy native) dropped nearly 100 pounds by, among other changes, eating a pizza for lunch every day. Which begs the question: Can eating a slice a day really help you shed pounds?
“Monotony has its advantages when it comes to weight loss,” says Jennifer McDaniel, R.D. She says some research has also found that eating the same thing day after day can lead you to want to eat less of it, while variety can spark appetite even when you're full. A limited menu, therefore, can be less tempting and simpler to plan—at least for a while. (Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with Women's Health's The Body Clock Diet!)
“If weight loss is your goal, sometimes repetition can be helpful,” agrees Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D. “Some studies have shown that consistency can help when it comes to changing habits. For example, if you are trying to lose weight and never eat breakfast, then eating the same thing every day for breakfast can make the new morning routine easier to get accustomed to instead of trying to think of seven different breakfasts for the week.”
But as far as long-term sustainability and health, the experts are more skeptical. "Eating any food every day won't net you all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally," says Zeitlin. "We are not meant to eat foods in isolation, we are meant to eat a variety of different foods so that we obtain the various amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies require to maintain a healthy life. So, eating just pizza (or just any one item) every day is not a healthy, sustainable diet." After all, we’re omnivores, and our bodies require a variety of nutrients that aren’t all found inside a delivery box. More to the point, boredom is a total diet killer. But if you want to give the slice-a-day diet a try, there are a few ways to pack your pizza with more nutrients and fewer calories.
Customize. Homemade pies will almost always be lighter on grease than delivery styles, says McDaniel. But many chains now offer thin and whole-wheat crusts, leaner meats, and a larger variety of vegetables.
Downsize. Here’s a sneaky way to control your portions: scale down your size. If you usually get a large, go for a medium. People tend to eat the same number of slices so you’ll trim calories without trying. Another tip: Have the pie cut into more slices so each is smaller.
Veg out. More sauce, less cheese is a good start. Then, when it comes to toppings, opt for fiber- and vitamin-rich veggies instead of fatty meats.
Supplement your slice. A traditional piece of pizza is not nutrient dense, so it takes more slices to fill you up, which adds up in calories and sugar which can contribute to weight gain, says Zeitlin. With no fiber or protein, you have nothing to really fill you up and keep you full. So pair your pie with a salad or other fiber-filled option.
Have you ever found yourself sipping a glass of milk and thinking, “Hey, this would be so much better if it were fizzy and, I don’t know, maybe … pink?”
No matter, carbonated milk the color of a sunset may soon be a supermarket-shopping option anyway.
Arla, a giant Scandinavian dairy company (it’s one of the world’s largest dairy-product producers), is set to introduce a drink it is describing as “sparkling fruit and milk” in hopes of turning it into the next big beverage trend, the Telegraph reports.
The fizzy milk, first announced a year ago, will make its debut in the United Kingdom, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates ahead of a worldwide rollout.
Arla is apparently hoping it will boost a sagging milk industry, as the rise of non-dairy almond, soy, rice and coconut “milks” increasingly encroach into the territory traditionally traversed by cow’s milk alone. (You could say they’re mooooving in, but I won’t. Oh, wait — unless that counts?)
Arla believes the bubbly beverage, part of a new lineup that includes a tea-milk drink and a protein energy drink, could be a big hit. The company is targeting sales at 700 million euros (more than $824 million U.S.) by 2020, according to the Local.
The carbonated-milk concept faces some headwinds, though. Consumers have repeatedly rejected similar drinks — including one launched by soft-drink maker Britvic (Tango Strange Soda) in 2003 and another by Coca-Cola (Vio) in 2009, neither of which managed to stick around. (Actually, Vio, while unsuccessful in the U.S., may still be a thing in India.)
But maybe at this point the world is a bit more ready for milk that is blush-colored, sparkling and a little fruity? We’re pretty into our kefirs and drinkable yogurts, after all.
A quick trip through the drive-thru for a $1.29 cheeseburger and a $1 iced tea seems like a hunger stopper and a less expensive alternative to a salad or grilled sandwich.
We often use the excuse that healthy food costs more than junk food. It makes me angry that I pay more to eat a healthier food than I'd pay for a warm cheeseburger, but why?
A meta-analysis study published in the British Medical Journal in December 2013 found diets rich in vegetables, fish, fruits and nuts costs about $1.50 more per day than unhealthy diets of processed foods, meats and refined grains.
The study was based on the most comprehensive examination to date comparing prices of healthy foods and diet patterns versus those that are less healthy. Researchers evaluated the differences in prices per serving and per 200 calories for particular types of foods, and prices per 2,000 calories for overall diet patterns. Prices per serving and per calorie were assessed because prices can vary depending on the unit comparison.
Researchers credit the low costs of unhealthy diets on food policies that focus on inexpensive and high-volume commodities that lead to “a complex network of farming, storage, transportation, processing, manufacturing and marketing capabilities that favor sales of highly processed food products for maximal industry profit.”
For the most part, it is easier to grab a sandwich for a quick meal on the run. I found you can buy vegetables, fruits and lean meats for lower prices if you check out the grocery ads, and I also began frequenting Aldi for an affordable selection of veggies, too.
After seeing an ad, I recently grabbed two watermelons at Fresh Thyme for and incredible $1.98 each. To my amazement, I left with a full cart of fresh vegetables and fruits that all were discounted.
Has the health industry finally realized that in order to eat better, we must consider the cost? Are studies finding we need to learn to eat healthier on a budget?
Healthline.com offers these clever ways to eat healthy foods on a budget:
• Plan your meals ahead.
• When you shop, stick to your grocery list and shop only on the outer part of the store to avoid the aisles with processed food.
• Buy whole foods such as cheese blocks to shred yourself, or cans of beans to smash.
• Stock up when there are sales, and compare ads.
• Replace meats with proteins such as legumes, canned tuna or eggs.
• Shop for produce that is in season.
• Pack your lunch
After discovering a fresh-food haven and combing through the ads, I found there is no excuse not to try to eat better, regardless of time constraints and trying to save money. I now grab a salad mix, cucumbers, peppers and a protein and throw together lunch at work. If I am on the run, I munch on veggies and try to wait until I can sit down for a meal.
Our bodies are the least active during night time. That’s why many studies link midnight snacking to weight gain. Some studies have also claimed that eating late in the night is linked to stress eating, which makes one crave for sugary treats.
In an ideal scenario, it is best to ensure that you eat small meals through the day. And if you do end up craving a meal at night, opt for these healthy snacks instead. Because if you stay hungry at night, you may end up picking an unhealthy breakfast the next morning.
1) High fibre cereal with low-fat milk: Go for half a serving to keep you full through the night.
2) Greek yoghurt: Pick the unsweetened version. Its high protein and low sugar content will help you build lean muscles.
3) Banana: This fruit is rich in potassium and can be easily digested. It will also helps satisfy your sweet craving post dinner.
4) Almond: Fibre in almonds will keep you full and at the same time provide some much-needed vital minerals.
5) Cup of low fat milk: Milk will help repair muscles while you take your beauty sleep.
6) 1 hard-boiled egg with toasted whole wheat bread: If you are very hungry, you can opt for an egg. This is filling and carbs will leave you satisfied.
7) Apple: This fruit is loaded with nutrients and fibre. It is one of the healthiest snacks for any time of the day.
8) Popcorn: Watching a late night film? Get a bag of plain popcorn to keep you company.
9) Salads: Pick kale, spinach, cucumber and carrots. Add a dressing of olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. And you’re good to go.
10) Roasted nuts: Packed with fibre, calcium and proteins. Roasting all adds flavour.
The month of September signals the start of something we have all been waiting for since January ... FOOTBALL SEASON! The Cowboys officially kicked off their season Aug. 31 and for the next few months every home game will bring football, family and, of course, food.
Tailgating is part of the fun of football season, but can also put a snag in healthy eating and mess up the normal eating flow.
Nutrition is all about balance, so having some “unhealthy” food once a week is not the end of the world, but to make tailgating healthier overall, here are some useful tips:
Be Prepared: Come stocked with water and some healthier snacks so you aren’t tempted to completely fill up on junk food. Also, do not skip meals during the day with the intention of making it up at the tailgate. This will help you eat less and decrease the amount of unhealthy food intake.
Stay Hydrated: Between alcohol and salty foods, staying hydrated is key to health. Also, drinking enough water will also keep you from eating as much.
Cook: Grilling steak, burgers, chicken or shrimp as well as vegetables can offer better options than packaged and processed food.
Set Rules For Yourself: Limit yourself to a certain number of plates or desserts and decide on that number beforehand. Tell yourself you will have two bottles of water for every glass of alcohol you have. Find someone to do this with you so you can keep each other accountable.
Get Moving: Play cornhole, toss a football, walk around to talk to friends, play fetch with your dog, or simply try not to sit down in a lawn chair all day. This will keep you from just sitting around and snacking as well as help increase your physical activity.
Even if you aren’t a tailgater, football season usually means extra time spent in front of the TV with plenty of snacks, or possibly running kids back and forth to games and practice.
Be mindful of the snacks you are enjoying and the on-the-go meals you and your kids are eating in this busy sports season. Of course, enjoy fall and the football, food and family that come with it, but remember that healthy food and plenty of water will keep you and your family energized and ready for the holidays!
It could be a broken heart, a meeting gone terribly wrong, a failed test, or a fight with your best friend. Whatever it is, you’re having a bad day. Bad days are the hardest to dig yourself out of, and sometimes the only solution is to bake your way out of them.
When I was a little girl, there was always a supply of chocolate chip cookie dough in the refrigerator. If my mom or I had a bad day, that cookie dough was in the oven in seconds. A warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie with a huge glass of milk was the only thing that would ultimately cure us of our bad day blues.
Now that I’m older, and finally learned how to bake, I have expanded my sweet tooth selections beyond premade chocolate chip cookie dough. There’s something about indulging in a sweet, warm, decadent dessert that completely lifts away the sadness, reminding you that is was just one bad day. The next time you’re feeling sad, no matter what the reason, just turn on your oven, and start baking. With every bite, you can remind yourself that tomorrow will be a better day.
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