Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekend Link Love – Edition 445

weekend_linklove in-lineRESEARCH OF THE WEEK

Agriculture changed fatty acid conversion genes.

Elderly women who start taking statins have an increased risk of developing diabetes (just what they need!).

Climbing stairs for 3 minutes after each meal improves glucose control in type 2 diabetics.

Good sleep is like winning the lottery.

NEW PRIMAL BLUEPRINT PODCASTS

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Episode 161: Helen Marshall: Host Elle Russ chats with Helen Marshall, who used Primal living to overcome debilitating digestive issues and now runs a global health coach service, produces a line of Primal Alternatives to the foods we used to love (and franchises it out to other people), all from 100 kangaroo-strewn acres in the Australian bush.

INTERESTING BLOG POSTS

How hot baths and other forms of “passive heating” can have surprisingly beneficial effects.

Is 15,000 steps a better target than 10,000?

Why there’s nothing like a good storm.

MEDIA, SCHMEDIA

Watch the precise moment a plankton eats plastic.

Woman dies after receiving IV turmeric for eczema. Just eat it, folks.

Australian researchers have reversed cell aging and extended a mouse’s lifespan (and healthspan) by 20% using an enzymatic precursor.

EVERYTHING ELSE

The NBA runs on PB&Js.

Cornell’s famous food lab is under fire for fabricated research.

The evolution of brain depictions.

In natural selection, “the fittest” doesn’t necessarily mean “the most ruthless and physically dominant.”

Spiders eat as much animal food as all the humans on earth.

Smoothies might make you fuller for longer.

THINGS I’M UP TO AND INTERESTED IN

Ticket deal you should get on: Paleo f(x) 2017 is coming, and the organizers have a ticket flash sale for early adopters going through March 31.

Two views on a fundamentally “human” ability—empathy: Paul Bloom’s (“against”) and a new paper from Penn State.

Story I loved: 91-year-old woman gets cancer diagnosis, skips chemo, decides to go on epic 12-month road trip.

Stat I didn’t like: Today’s men are weaker than their fathers were at the same age.

I couldn’t stop laughing: Fake strongmen on local morning news shows.

RECIPE CORNER

TIME CAPSULE

One year ago (Mar 26– Apr 1)

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

I picked up 21 chicks that walked through my yard last April and put them in a cage (don’t think anyone missed them) but it wasn’t until they were freed and allowed to start finding their own food and spaces that they started laying. Now they sleep in the pomerac tree and eat anything they can find or that’s tossed out the kitchen window. We still feed them occasionally with the factory feed but that’s more to ensure that they can still be tempted back into the coop in the event that they stop laying and need to be curried instead.

– Interesting thoughts from Stephen Sankarsingh.

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Can The Mediterranean Diet Help Treat Depression?

Feeling a bit down? New research suggests that a Mediterranean diet can help treat depression. Now that’s cause for celebration! The study suggests that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and lean proteins may be able to treat major depressive episodes.

 

The study

The researchers followed 67 Australian individuals with a history of depression and poor dietary habits. Study participants were randomly sorted into two groups. One group received dietary intervention, consisting of 60-minutes of Dietitian-lead nutrition one time per week. The second group received social support, otherwise known as ‘befriending’ or spending time with another individual discussing neutral topics, like sports, news or music. In addition to the interventions, both groups were being treated with a mixture of anti-depressive medication or therapy.

The dietary intervention group learned about the importance of eating a Mediterranean diet, including 5-8 servings of whole grains per day, 6 servings of vegetables per day, 3 servings of fruit per day, 3-4 servings of legumes per day, 2-3 servings of low-fat and unsweetened dairy foods per week, 1 serving of raw and unsalted nuts per day, 2 servings of fish per week, 3-4 servings of lean red meats per week, 2-3 servings of  chicken per week, 6 eggs per week and 3 tablespoons of olive oil per day. They were also encouraged to reduce their intake of sweets, refined cereals, fried food, fast-food, processed meats and sugary drinks to no more than 3 per week.

After 12 weeks of the intervention, the dietary support group showed a significantly greater improvement on the depression rating scale than the social support group. In other words, the participants who received dietary support felt less depressed. This study is still preliminary, but it suggests that changing one’s diet may actually be a useful tool in treating depression.

 

Eat The Mediterranean Way

The Mediterranean Diet has long been promoted for its many health benefits. Not only may it help fight depression, but research suggests that eating like a Greek can improve weight loss, control blood sugar and reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and dementia. Follow these tips to add more of the Mediterranean style of eating to your diet to reap the benefits.

  • Use oil whenever possible, like in homemade salad dressings and marinades. Opt for oil instead of margarine or butter when roasting veggies or topping popcorn.
  • Swap out chicken for fish two nights per week. Don’t get stuck in the boring old protein rut. Treat your family to an omega-rich serving of fresh fish.
  • Add veggies to every plate—even breakfast. According to the USDA’s My Plate, every plate should consist of at least half fruits and vegetables. Since many of us don’t get that at breakfast, make an effort to add veggies to your morning smoothie, omelet or toast.
  • Opt for whole grains. Luckily, the abundance of commercially available whole grains is at an all-time high. If you’re not in the mood for whole wheat bread or brown rice, try quinoa, oats, kamut, bulgur, farro, freekeh, sorghum or buckwheat.
  • Go nuts! Replace the chips in your snack drawer with unsalted nuts. Walnuts are high in heart-healthy omegas, but any type of nut will do. Nuts are bit high in calories, so be cautious of the portion size—it’s usually about a handful or 20 nuts.
  • Pick pulses. A group of superfoods made up of chickpeas, lentils, dry peas and beans, pulses are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. Try Meatless Monday by swapping out your dinner meat for a protein-packed pulse.
  • Herb it up. Mediterranean food is rich in flavorful herbs, like oregano, dill and basil. Add herbs to roasted veggies, soups and salads to reduce the salt and add big flavors.

 

Natalie Rizzo, M.S., R.D., is a media dietitian, food and nutrition writer, spokesperson and blogger at Nutrition à la Natalie.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.



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