Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Your carb digestion genes (AMY1) affect your weight

I guess your heritage does influence how much carbs you can eat without gaining weight.

Genetic study supports link between carbohydrate digestion and obesity

by Francesca Davenport | 31 March 2014| Imperial College London

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September 17, 2015 Posted by | health, nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Processed Food Makes You Fatter

Although the article below focuses on calorie labeling, I thought the most important point it makes is how processing of any kind increases calories available to our bodies.

Why Most Calorie Counts Are Wrong

By Richard Wrangham and Rachel Carmody, Harvard University | January 5, 2015 | Discover magazine

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September 12, 2015 Posted by | diet, health, nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why you should cut down on red meat

It turns out red meat contains a substance (Neu5Gc) that our immune system doesn’t like, accelerating the development of cancer. So eat a small amount for its nutritional benefits, but not too much.  And if you are battling cancer, skip red meat.

Red Meat Increases Cancer Risk Because of Toxic Immune Response

By Carl Engelking | January 2, 2015 | Discover magazine

Consumption of red meat has long been linked to the development of certain types of cancer. Now scientists believe they’ve found the culprit behind red meat’s carcinogenic effects.

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September 12, 2015 Posted by | health, nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

“I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss”

You cannot always believe what the newspapers write.  Or what scientific journals write.

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How.

John Bohannon | 5/27/15 | io9.com

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May 31, 2015 Posted by | nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

How to Trick Yourself Into Buying Healthier Food

It seems eating a healthy snack primes your brain into buying more healthy fare rather than junk food. Great tip.

How to Trick Yourself Into Buying Healthier Food

Mandy Oaklander |April 29, 2015 | Time Magazine
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May 3, 2015 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, diet, health, nutrition | , | Leave a comment

Whole-Grain Foods Not Always as Healthful as You Might Think

It seems the government and the food industry is screwing the consumer by not fully disclosing what is (and what is not) inside foods.  Whole grains are healthy — but food labelled whole grain may not actually be whole grain.  My take: stay away from processed foods if you can.

From Scientific American, July 25, 2013:

Whole-Grain Foods Not Always Healthful

Often synonymous with good health, whole grains may lack heart-healthy fiber—in fact, some processed forms increase cardiovascular risks

By Melinda Wenner Moyer

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August 13, 2013 Posted by | health, nutrition | | Leave a comment

I Hate to Break it to You, but You Already Eat Bugs

From Scientific American Blog:

I Hate to Break it to You, but You Already Eat Bugs

By Kyle Hill | June 5, 2013

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June 11, 2013 Posted by | nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

Nutella IS junkfood! The Proof

Is Nutella good for you? After losing a lawsuit, Nutella agrees to stop marketing its tasty junkfood as healthy  — in the U.S.  only, unfortunately.   I love the comparison to chocolate:

“The lawsuit noted that the spread contains about 70 per cent saturated fat and processed sugar by weight, as well as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and trans fat.  A two-tablespoon serving of Nutella contains 200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are saturated and 21 grams of sugar. To put that into perspective, a typical chocolate and nut candy bar has 250 to 300 calories and 12 to 16 grams of fat.”

Glad to see that chain mail letter validated.  But the sad part is the some of the comments after the article (visit the article page to read them) — so many miss the point that it is the misleading advertising rather than the product itself that was the problem; and there is one commenter who still hasn’t read the label and thinks this product is full of nuts rather than a sea of fat and sugar with a bit of hazelnuts for flavouring.

Here is the link to the settlement agreement (in its full lawyerese glory): Nutella Class Action Settlement Agreement; and here is the article reporting on it in layman terms:

Nutella settles lawsuit from angry mom, drops health claims

CTVNews.ca Staff

Date: Friday Apr. 27, 2012 8:44 PM ET

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May 11, 2012 Posted by | diet, health, nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salad or fries with that?

Do you want salad or fires with that? It seems a healthy option actually makes you more likely to pick the junk food.  Great for fast-food companies’ bottom lines.

From The National Post, April 30, 2009:

Thinking about eating healthy can fool brain into choosing fat: new study

Anne Harding, Reuters

Feel satisfied that you’re doing your body some good by merely looking at some leafy greens next to your burger? You may have just tricked yourself into ordering the greasy fries.

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October 3, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, diet, health, nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

Eat your way to a better brain

From the July 17th, 2008 edition of The Economist:

Cognition nutrition

Food for thought

Eat your way to a better brain

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | brain, diet, nutrition | | Leave a comment