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Mediterranean Diet Could Keep Aging Brains Sharp

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Helping your brain stay sharp with age may be as simple as changing up the food on your plate at dinnertime, a new study suggests.

The study focused on the healthy "Mediterranean" diet, a regimen reliant on olive oil, beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with chicken and fish largely replacing red meat. Dairy prod...

Switch to Plant-Based Diet Could Protect Older Women's Brains

If you want to protect yourself against dementia, heart disease and cancer, you might want to get your protein from nuts instead of juicy red steaks.

New research shows that older women who ate the most plant protein were 21% less likely to suffer a dementia-related death and 12% less likely to die from heart disease, compared with women who ate little to no plant protein.

"Not all ...

Many U.S. Adults Aren't Getting Healthy Amounts of Fruits, Vegetables

Nearly all U.S. adults get some vegetables every day, but the old "apple a day" adage is falling out of favor, a new government survey suggests.

Researchers found that a full 95% of U.S. adults said they ate some amount of vegetables on any given day. On the other hand, only about two-thirds said the same of fruit -- down significantly from 20 years ago.

Experts called the finding o...

Whole Wheat Better for You Than White Bread, Study Confirms

New research reinforces advice to include more whole grains in your diet.

A diet heavy in "refined" grains (such as white bread, cookies and muffins) may increase your risk for heart disease and early death, while whole grains may lower it, according to the study.

"We encourage people to have moderate consumption of carbohydrates and to have different types of grain, especially whol...

What's the Most Nutritious Way to Juice Your Vegetables?

Homemade juices are a popular way for health-conscious people to get their veggies. But the juicing method of choice makes a difference, a recent study suggests.

Researchers found that three different techniques -- using either a blender or a low- or high-speed juicer -- produced beverages with different levels of antioxidants and various plant compounds.

But anyone hoping for a sim...

Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Helped Keep Millions of Americans From Going Hungry

Expanded unemployment benefits, passed by Congress last spring to ease the economic pain of the pandemic, appear to have held hunger at bay for millions of Americans, new research shows.

Called "The CARES Act" when it was put into effect nearly a year ago, the law expanded who is eligible for unemployment benefits and how long that coverage would last. A weekly federal supplement of $600 ...

Omega-3s From Fish Might Curb Asthma in Kids, But Genes Matter

Consuming greater amounts of certain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may reduce the risk of asthma in kids -- but only those with a common gene variant, British researchers say.

They focused on the long chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

"Asthma is the most common chronic con...

Pandemic May Be Affecting How Parents Feed Their Kids

There have been good and bad changes to U.S. children's diets during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers say.

"Providing healthy meals and snacks to our kids can be a challenge even when we're not experiencing a pandemic," said senior study author Susan Carnell. She's an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimo...

AHA News: 5 Things Nutrition Experts Want You to Know About New Federal Dietary Guidelines

New federal dietary guidelines encourage Americans to focus more on eating healthy throughout life, to be flexible in their eating patterns and to cut down on empty calories.

The recommendations, released every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, are designed to promote nutrition and prevent chronic disease. The guidance influe...

Just 2% of U.S. Teens Eat Recommended Amount of Veggies

In findings that may ring true to parents, a new government survey shows that a paltry 2% of U.S. high school students are eating enough vegetables.

The study is the latest look at teenagers' eating habits by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And experts described the results as "disappointing."

Of more than 13,000 high school students surveyed in 2017, only 2% we...

Healthy Eating Could Delay Onset of Parkinson's Disease

While researchers continue to try to find the key that unlocks the cause of Parkinson's disease, new research suggests that what a person eats could make a difference.

Researchers in Canada found a strong correlation between eating either a Mediterranean diet or the MIND diet (which combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and a diet known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), a...

Men, Make Health Your Goal This Year

The new year is the ideal time to focus on your health and one expert has some tips, especially for men, for doing that.

According to Dr. Kevin McVary, director of Loyola Medicine Men's Health Center, in Maywood, Ill., "Men don't always focus on their health and, in fact, men are less likely to see a doctor or utilize health resources, and wait longer than women to seek care. Often, it's ...

Fried Food a Big Factor in Heart Disease, Stroke

Delicious but deadly: Eating fried food is tied to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study suggests.

The risk rises with each additional 4-ounce serving per week, a research team in China found.

For the study, the investigators analyzed 19 previously published studies. They combined data from 17 studies, involving more than 560,000 people with nearly 37,000 majo...

Climate Change Is Spurring Malnutrition in Kids Worldwide

Rising temperatures caused by climate change are contributing to low diet quality and malnutrition among young children in many parts of the world, researchers say.

Warmer temperatures now equal or exceed the impact of traditional causes of child malnutrition and low quality diets, such as poverty, poor sanitation and low levels of education, according to investigators from the University...

Do Gut Microbes Play a Role in Anorexia?

Gut microbes may play a significant role in the eating disorder anorexia, a new British study says.

Researchers from the University of Oxford reviewed available evidence suggesting that in people with anorexia gut microbes could affect affect appetite, weight, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and compulsive behavior.

The findings appear online Jan. 12 in the journal ...

AHA News: Trendy Microgreens Offer Flavor You Can Grow at Home

As one of the trendiest foods in the produce aisle, microgreens are known for adding a splash of color to a dish, a spicy kick to a salad -- and a chunk of change to a grocery bill.

Known for a variety of flavors, textures and aromas, microgreens originated as a product of the California restaurant scene in the 1980s. Smaller than baby greens, they are harvested just one to two weeks afte...

Can 2 Nutrients Lower Your Risk for Parkinson's?

People who consume high levels of dietary vitamin C and E may lower their risk for Parkinson's disease by almost a third, a new study suggests.

Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Foods high in vitamin E include spinach, collard greens, pumpkin and nuts such as almonds and peanuts.

How might the two nutrients ward off Parkinson's? A...

When Soda Tax Repealed, Soda Sales Rebound: Study

After a short-lived tax on sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages was repealed, consumption of sugary drinks in an Illinois County escalated again, according to a new study.

The tax was pitched to reduce Cook County budget deficits. It lasted four months -- from Aug. 2 to Dec. 1, 2017, the researchers said.

"We know that the tax worked to bring down demand for swe...

5-Step 'Healthy Living' Plan May Ease Chronic Heartburn

For some people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as chronic heartburn, a switch to a healthier lifestyle could offer real relief from symptoms,.

New research shows that following a five-step plan -- not smoking, eating well, exercising, limiting coffee, tea and soda, and maintaining a healthy body weight -- may relieve reflux in many patients. Others may have less n...

Stressed Out in Lockdown, America's Young Adults Are Overeating

When the coronavirus pandemic started, many people began baking banana bread and sourdough loaves at home. Stress eating is nothing new, and 2020 was a year filled with angst for a lot of people.

But researchers at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, wondered, "Are college-aged people overeating, too?" According to their new study, the answer is "yes."

...

Fewer Food Allergies in Kids If Mom Drinks Milk While Breastfeeding: Study

Mothers who drink cow's milk while breastfeeding may reduce their child's risk of developing food allergies, a new Swedish study suggests.

"This is a compelling first step in defining a potential relationship between maternal diet and allergy risk," said Dr. Peter Lio, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in C...

Tips for Making 2021 a Healthier Year

A New Year's resolution to take better care of yourself is one you should keep, especially in the era of COVID-19.

Wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance from others and washing your hands frequently are going remain important in 2021. But don't forget to prioritize a healthy lifestyle that improves your overall health and quality of life, and helps prevent cancer, according to exper...

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans Ignore Recommendations on Sugar, Alcohol

The Trump administration rejected a scientific advisory group's advice Tuesday that people further reduce their added sugar and alcohol intake as part of the 2020 update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

An independent advisory committee charged with helping the federal government update the guidelines issued its report in July. Noting the U.S. obesity epidemic and increasing rate...

Could Going Vegetarian Lower Kids' Asthma Risk?

Compounds in meat may trigger wheezing in some children that can potentially lead to asthma or other respiratory conditions, a new study suggests.

These compounds, called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), are released as meat is cooked at high temperatures while grilling, frying or roasting. AGEs attach themselves to cells in the lungs, causing inflammation and an immune system resp...

Which Seafood Has the Highest Amount of Microplastics?

Those mussels, oysters and scallops on your plate may come with a secret ingredient: microplastics.

Researchers at Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull in the United Kingdom reviewed more than 50 studies (from 2014 to 2020) to investigate the levels of microplastic contamination globally in fish and shellfish.

The investigators found that mollusks (such as clams, muss...

Sugary Drinks' Effect on Hormones Could Spur Weight Gain: Study

It could be more than just added calories: New research gives insight into why sugary drinks are a leading cause of obesity.

Sugar-sweetened drinks are the largest source of calories from added sugar for U.S. adults, and researchers now report that the drinks also hinder hormones that quell hunger and regulate appetite.

"Our study found that when young adults consumed drinks contain...

AHA News: The Best Foods for Brain Health

It's easy to see the connection between an unhealthy diet and an expanding waistline. The connection between food and brain health can be harder to get your mind around.

But experts agree. Eating right is essential for brain health.

"Of all the organs in our body, the brain is the one most easily damaged by a poor diet," said Dr. Lisa Mosconi, director of the Women's Brain Initiativ...

Get Rid of Red Meat to Help Your Heart: Study

Another study has confirmed what scientists have long known -- eating a lot of red meat may be bad for your heart.

On the other hand, opting for plant-based proteins instead of ordering a steak may boost your cardiovascular health.

In a new study, researchers followed more than 40,000 men in the United States over a 30-year period. The investigators looked at how red meat consumpti...

Pandemic Is Devastating Low-Income Black Households

Low-income Black Americans had more job losses, more difficulty getting food and medicine, and higher levels of debt in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic than their white or Hispanic peers, a new study finds.

"Media coverage has focused on the racially disparate effects of COVID-19 as a disease, but we were interested in the socioeconomic effects of the virus, and whether it track...

Metabolites' From Food Could Affect Your Stroke Risk

Levels of some small molecules called metabolites in the body may affect your risk of stroke, a new analysis suggests.

Metabolites come from the food people eat, and they cause chemical processes within the bodies and microbes. An analysis of previously published studies found that the levels of 10 of these are linked to the risk of stroke.

These include lipids, fatty acids, amino ...

Cocoa Might Give Your Brain a Boost: Study

Could the main ingredient found in chocolate super-charge your brain, help young, healthy adults think better, faster and more efficiently? Just maybe, according to a small new study out of Britain.

The finding is based on work with 18 healthy men, aged 18 to 45. All underwent brain scans and mental acuity tests after consuming a cocoa drink packed with high levels of flavanols. They are ...

AHA News: Eating Foods That Promote Inflammation May Worsen Heart Failure

People with heart failure who eat a diet high in foods that cause inflammation are twice as likely to end up in the hospital or die as those who eat foods known to reduce inflammation, new research shows.

"If people with heart failure can reduce the amount of pro-inflammatory foods that they eat, it might help with their survival," said lead researcher JungHee Kang, a nursing research ass...

AHA News: Teens' Ultra-Processed Diet Puts Their Hearts at Risk

If you think the teenagers in your life have been eating a lot of unhealthy food -- you're probably right.

U.S. adolescents get about two-thirds of their calories from ultra-processed food, and the more they eat, the worse they score on important measures of heart health, a new study says.

Nutritionists started using the term "ultra-processed food" about a decade ago. The study used...

Mediterranean Diet Cuts Women's Odds for Diabetes

Overweight women who eat a Mediterranean-like diet may reduce their odds of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%, compared with women who don't, a new study suggests.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Previously, it has been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other conditions.

"The findi...

Junk Food, Booze Often Star in America's Hit Movies

If there was an Oscar for "most unhealthy food in a leading role," many of America's most popular movies would be serious contenders.

That's the conclusion of a new review of food content featured in 250 top-grossing U.S. movies. More often than not, the fictional food choices were so bad they wouldn't make the cut of real-world dietary recommendations, the study authors said.

"The ...

Vegan Diets Tied to Higher Bone Fracture Risk

Chew on this: Vegans face a 43% higher risk for bone fractures than meat eaters, a large British study warns.

The rise in risk was not confined to vegans, who eat no meat, fish, dairy or eggs. The researchers also identified a notably higher risk for hip fractures among those who eat fish but no meat (pescatarians), and among vegetarians who swear off both meat and fish, but do consume da...

AHA News: Tackling Turkey Day: Strategies for a Healthy Feast

The football teams taking the field on Thanksgiving will bring shrewd strategies and meticulous game plans to make sure they finish the day healthy and successful.

As we tackle one of the year's biggest feasts, should we do the same?

On the one hand, it's just one day.

"If you spend the majority of your time eating well and exercising, my general opinion on Thanksgiving is giv...

Multivitamins' 'Benefits' Are All in Your Head: Study

Multivitamins really are magic pills for your health, a new study contends -- but just not the way you might think.

The health 'benefits' of multivitamins might just all be a trick of the mind, researchers say.

U.S. adults who regularly take multivitamins self-reported 30% better overall health than people who don't use the supplements, results of a federally funded survey show.

...

Hot Discovery: Chili Peppers Might Extend Your Life

The spice that adds punch to your favorite Kung Pao chicken, Tex-Mex chili or Indian curry may also help save your life.

Preliminary research shows that eating chili pepper may reduce your risk of death from heart disease, cancer and other causes, building on past studies that have found chili pepper to have health benefits.

"I think a lot of people are going to find this informatio...

Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

Give your heart the gift of healthy eating this Thanksgiving, the American Heart Association suggests.

"It's easy to get off track from making healthy choices during the holidays, and the pandemic may add to the stress," Dr. Anne Thorndike, chair of the American Heart Association's (AHA) Nutrition Committee, said in a heart association news release.

"Eating healthfully during t...

Spouses Share a Lot – Including Heart Health, Study Shows

Many married couples or domestic partners share a lot: the same house, bills, pets and maybe children. A new study found they often also share the same behaviors and risk factors that can lead to heart disease.

Researchers assessed heart disease risks and lifestyle behaviors of nearly 5,400 U.S. couples enrolled in an employee wellness program.

They used the risk factors spelled...

Social Media 'Kid Influencers' Are Promoting Junk Foods

Is your kid suddenly clamoring for a fast food meal or a sugary cereal you've never even heard of? He or she may have seen the product featured on a favorite "kid influencer" video.

In a new study, researchers viewed the top 50 kid influencer videos on YouTube and found that 9 out of 10 featured unhealthy foods. Nearly 1 in 3 promoted a fast-food chain.

But, what in the world is...

Fading Sense of Smell Could Signal Higher Death Risk in Older Adults

If you're a senior who can't smell onions, smoke, chocolate or natural gas, it's time to see your doctor.

Seniors who lose their sense of smell -- which doctors call olfactory dysfunction -- have higher odds of dying from all causes within five years, new research shows. Scientists had previously found a link between olfactory dysfunction and impaired thinking and memory.

"We ...

Is There a Better Therapy for Hospitalized Anorexia Patients?

It may seem counterintuitive, but when someone with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa is hospitalized, treatment often begins by cutting calories. Now, new research suggests that those eating restrictions can be safely relaxed in the hospital.

Starting with a lower-calorie diet has long been thought to prevent big shifts in fluid and electrolytes that can lead to cardiac arrest, c...

Losing Some TV Ads Might Reduce Childhood Obesity

Limiting TV ads for sugary, salty and high-fat foods and drinks might help reduce childhood obesity, British researchers suggest.

They looked at advertising of these products between 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. If all such ads were withdrawn during those hours, the number of obese kids in the U.K. between the ages of 5 and 17 would drop by 5% and the number of overweight kids would fall...

Restricting Promotions of Sweet Foods Cuts Sugar, Not Profits: Study

Limiting marketing of high-sugar foods in supermarkets doesn't cut into store profits, but it may improve public health, Australian researchers report.

Price promotions, end-of-aisle displays and putting products at eye level can stimulate sales. Ending these practices reduced purchase of sugar-sweetened drinks and candy in participating stores by the equivalent to nearly two tons of...

Do Fasting Diets Really Work? New Study Finds Little Benefit

More and more people are turning to "intermittent fasting" to lose weight, but the jury is still out on whether the tactic works.

In a new clinical trial, researchers found that one type of intermittent fasting did help overweight and obese adults drop a couple of pounds over 12 weeks. But they fared no better than a comparison group who ate whenever they wanted.

The finding...

Americans Are Cutting Back on Sugary Drinks

Drinking lots of sugary beverages can wreak havoc on your health, but new research finds more Americans are turning away from those high-calorie drinks.

And that includes many people who used to drink large quantities of sweetened beverages -- the equivalent of 3.5 cans of soda daily.

"Our study found the percentage of children and adults who are heavy [sugar-sweetened bever...

Are School Lunches a Ticket to Healthy Eating?

Healthier school meals improve the diets of American children, a new study finds.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act took effect in 2012 and required school meals to include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and less sodium.

To assess how the act affected students' diets, researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2016, wh...

Who's Most Likely to Binge Eat Amid Pandemic?

A lot has been made of the so-called "quarantine 15." Now, a new study suggests certain people are more likely to binge eat during the coronavirus pandemic than others.

Most often they are young adults who faced social stigma about being overweight before COVID-19 swept the globe.

The researchers found this group had higher levels of depressive symptoms, stress, eating as a ...

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