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Keto diet vs low carb: whats the difference and which is better? Although the two diets both involve cutting carbs and can help with weight loss, the keto diet (short for ketogenic) is a far more restrictive way of eating and involves limiting carb intake and eating a high amount of fat, with moderate protein.

Keto means the body has switched into ketosis and is using fat instead of glucose for fuel, says diet expert Heidi Normanton, founder of Heylo. Meanwhile low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, especially simple and refined ones found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Going low carb helps regulate blood sugar but it doesnt produce ketosis, so the body will first use the glucose stored as energy, then move onto fat for fuel.

Its important to have an understanding of your body and the calories and nutrients required for it to function effectively before starting a new diet, adds elite coach Farren Morgan, who runs The Tactical Athlete. He advises speaking to a dietician or a health professional first.

In this article we look at the key differences between the keto diet vs low carb, so you can decide if either plan is right for you.

A keto diet, also known as a ketogenic diet, is based on lowering your carbohydrate intake and increasing your intake of healthy fats, says Morgan.

Its fairly restrictive, but while all keto diets are low carb, not all low carb diets are keto. The keto diet involves getting 70% of daily calories from fat, 20% from protein and 10% from carbohydrates.

Like keto, low carb diets follow the same principle of cutting carbs and replacing them with protein, healthy fats and vegetables. Carbohydrates are easier to digest, but dont provide the same essential nutrients that proteins and fats do for the growth and development of your physique, explains Morgan.

Both diets have the same objective in mind weight loss - but keto diets fall as a subcategory of a low carb diet, while low carb diets represent the umbrella that covers a large variety of other diets that it has under its belt, says Morgan.

Put simply, a low carb diet is very relative, and doesnt have specific amounts of carbs you should or shouldnt consume unless you are following a set diet plan like Atkins or Dukan. Going low carb also means youre probably not eating as much fat as you would if you were trying to force the body into ketosis, and youll be eating lots of filling lean proteins and vegetables to stay energized.

Both plans have some noticeable health benefits, too. A study in the BMJ revealed that going low carb was associated with higher states of remission among people with type 2 diabetes, while keto diets could improve heart health, according to another study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Further research published in the Frontiers in Neuroscience journal found that the keto diet helps prevent seizures and treat epilepsy, something it was first used for in the 1920s.

First up, your carbohydrate intake will differ depending on whether youre following a keto diet or simply low carb. With a low carb diet you'd be expected to eat 50-150 grams of carbs per day, but keto diets are restricted to just 50 grams, says Morgan.

Protein intake is another factor that differs. Low carb diets generally require a large intake of protein, but keto diets moderate your protein consumption to between 20-22% of your total calories. Keto diets also require a large intake of fats compared with low carb diets to compensate for the protein and carbohydrates.

Normanton says if your goal is to build muscle, then going low carb could be a better option, as glucose is needed to repair muscle. Many people also feel that a low carb diet is an easier transition and therefore some start with that, then move onto keto, she says. The keto diet is also very popular with athletes and some marathon runners swear by it as their bodies are fat adapted and it can help them maintain endurance for longer periods of time without needing carbs to refuel.

But there are some slightly unpleasant side effects associated with both plans. Transitioning into these diets will be a process, especially regarding the keto diet, says Morgan. With low carb diets you may feel weak or experience constipation due to the impact of your micronutrient consumption. If youre new to the ketogenic diet, you may experience the keto flu, which includes symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, irritability, fatigue, and lack of motivation.

Morgan says that these symptoms generally last for a week or less, but in extreme scenarios they have been known to last to a month, so it's important to be mentally prepared and fully equipped with an experienced professional to guide you before you decide to start your diet.

Both are effective for weight loss, so what ultimately matters is which diet is best for you and your body, says Morgan. If you're looking to acquire a physique that's lean yet muscular you may go for the low carb diet, while those looking for an overall slim physique may lean towards keto.


DAndrea Meira, I., Romo, T. T., Pires Do Prado, H. J., Krger, L. T., Pires, M. E. P., & da Conceio, P. O. (2019). Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy: What We Know So Far. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13.

Goldenberg, J. Z., Day, A., Brinkworth, G. D., Sato, J., Yamada, S., Jnsson, T., Beardsley, J., Johnson, J. A., Thabane, L., & Johnston, B. C. (2021). Efficacy and safety of low and very low carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes remission: systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished randomized trial data. BMJ, m4743.

Yurista, S. R., Chong, C. R., Badimon, J. J., Kelly, D. P., de Boer, R. A., & Westenbrink, B. D. (2021). Therapeutic Potential of Ketone Bodies for Patients With Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 77(13), 16601669.

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Getting vaccinated against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19 is a very effective way to protect against serious illness, hospitalization, and death (1).

Though the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and recommended for everyone 5 years and older, some people may experience mild side effects, which typically subside within a few days (1, 2).

Whether youre getting your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or receiving a booster shot, making a few simple changes to your diet after getting vaccinated can be a great way to help alleviate certain side effects and enhance your immunity.

Here are a few tips for what you should eat after getting your COVID-19 vaccine.

Staying well-hydrated before and after you get your vaccine for COVID-19 is essential.

Thats because dehydration can worsen side effects like syncope loss of consciousness which sometimes occurs after the vaccine, especially if you feel anxious around needles (3, 4, 5, 6).

Dehydration may also contribute to headaches, which is another common issue that many people experience after getting vaccinated (5, 7).

Ideally, carry a bottle of water with you to your appointment and drink plenty of water throughout the day once you get home.

Tea, coconut water, or electrolyte-infused beverages like Pedialyte can also help you meet your hydration needs after getting your vaccine.

Dehydration may worsen several side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, including headaches or fainting. Water, tea, coconut water, and electrolyte-infused beverages can help prevent dehydration.

Though there is limited research on how your diet may impact the side effects or effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, certain foods may be beneficial.

In particular, anti-inflammatory foods have been shown to fight inflammation, which may help boost immune function (8, 9).

Anti-inflammatory diets may also be beneficial for preventing headaches and fatigue, which are side effects that some people experience after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (10, 11).

Whats more, some research suggests that anti-inflammatory foods could protect against and lessen the effects of COVID-19, along with other types of infections (12, 13, 14).

A well-rounded, anti-inflammatory diet should consist of mostly whole, unprocessed foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish (15).

For a comprehensive guide to getting started on the anti-inflammatory diet, along with which foods you should eat and avoid, check out this article.

Anti-inflammatory foods may support immune function and reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory diets may help prevent certain side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, like headaches and fatigue.

Research suggests that excessive alcohol intake can negatively affect immune function and may even increase your susceptibility to infections, including pneumonia (16).

Furthermore, drinking large amounts of alcohol could also worsen several side effects associated with the vaccine for some people, including headaches, nausea, and fatigue (17, 18, 19, 20).

Additionally, alcohol suppresses the release of vasopressin, a hormone that increases urination and fluid loss, which may lead to dehydration (19, 21, 22).

Learn more about links between alcohol and dehydration here.

Still, there is currently no research evaluating whether alcohol consumption affects the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine or worsens any side effects related to it.

Regardless, it may be best to moderate your intake of alcohol and avoid heavy drinking for a few days after getting your vaccine.

Excessive alcohol intake could negatively affect immunity and may worsen certain side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Though more research is needed, it may be best to moderate your intake of alcohol and avoid heavy drinking.

While theres no research to suggest that getting vaccinated on an empty stomach is harmful, its generally a good idea to have a nutritious meal or snack before your appointment.

Eating beforehand can help prevent low blood sugar levels, which can cause a slew of negative side effects, such as headaches and fatigue (23, 24).

Keeping your blood sugar levels stable may also help prevent dizziness, fainting, or loss of consciousness, especially if you feel anxious or are afraid of shots or needles (23, 24).

Ideally, opt for a meal or snack thats high in fiber and protein to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, such as fresh fruit with peanut butter, veggies and hummus, or Greek yogurt with chia seeds (25).

These snacks are great options that can provide a quick boost of energy after getting your vaccine or booster shot as well.

Eating a healthy meal or snack before getting vaccinated can keep blood sugar levels stable. Ideally, choose foods high in protein and fiber, both before and after getting your shot.

Nausea is a common side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, one study found that approximately 16% of healthcare workers who received Pfizers vaccine reported experiencing nausea (5).

Fortunately, there are many foods that you can eat that can ease nausea after receiving the vaccine.

For example, ginger can alleviate nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy, chemotherapy, and motion sickness (26, 27, 28).

Some also recommend eating dry, plain foods like crackers or toast to help reduce nausea effectively (29).

Smelling certain foods such as lemon and peppermint has been shown to ease nausea in several studies as well and may be worth a try (30, 31, 32, 33).

If you experience nausea after getting your vaccine, there are several foods that may help ease symptoms, such as ginger, crackers, and toast. The smell of peppermint or lemon may also be beneficial.

There are a variety of foods you can eat to increase immune function and ease certain side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, such as nausea or headaches.

In particular, staying hydrated, eating a balanced and nutritious meal or snack before getting your vaccine, and filling up on anti-inflammatory foods may help.

In addition to the tips outlined above, you can also talk with a healthcare professional about using over-the-counter pain medications to relieve temporary side effects, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or antihistamines (2).

Best Food for COVID Vaccine: What to Eat Before and After - Healthline

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Osteoporosis is a condition when the bone strength weakens and becomes susceptible to fracture. As the bones become quite fragile, it might lead to joint pain and swelling. Osteoporosis is mostly suffered by old people, especially women. Super foods that are rich in nutrients and anti oxidants could help ease the difficulties and reduce the symptoms. These are some of the food items that should be strictly included in your regular diet if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Blueberry: The anti oxidants in blueberries help in reducing inflammation that can cause damage to the cells and internal organs. The nutrient molecules protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Fish: The omega 3 fatty acids in fish can ease joint pain. Those who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis should consume fish at least once in a week. Supplements like fish oil, flax seed oil, chia seed and walnuts are excellent replacements in case you do not eat fish.

Green tea: It can help in reducing body weight and inflammation. The anti inflammatory properties in green tea can effectively reduce the destruction of the cartilage.

Orange juice: The vitamin C in orange juice is an excellent remedy against common cold and maintains the health of the cartilage. Studies show that vitamin C supplements can fight osteoarthritis.

Plantain: Loaded with potassium and magnesium, plantain helps in increasing the bone density. It keeps away constipation. Magnesium can reduce the symptoms of arthritis too.

Tofu: It is rich in soy protein that reduces joint pain and inflammation.

Peanut butter: The vitamin B 3 in peanut butter can reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Including peanut butter in regular diet can improve flexibility and reduce inflammation.

Whole grain bread: Those who have rheumatoid arthritis have high levels of pantothenic acid or Brewers yeast in their bodies. Studies reveal that eating whole grain bread can help reduce pain and swelling. Those who have inflammation in joints can consume whole grain bread and cereals regularly.

Pineapple: The bromelain enzyme in pineapple can reduce inflammation.

Shrimp: Fresh shrimp contain vitamin E that fights inflammation in joints. The vitamin E and anti oxidants can effectively reduce the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

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Include these food items in diet to prevent osteoarthritis and inflammation - Onmanorama

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

How many vegans, according to the joke, does it take to change a lightbulb? Two: one to change it and one to check for animal ingredients. Its funny because it contains a kernel of truth. Everyone evidently knows that vegans seem obsessed with reading ingredient labels. But less well known is the definition of vegan in its entirety and whether it constitutes a lifestyle or merely a diet.

Veganspeople who do not consume anything that comes from an animalhave been around for thousands of years. The Therapeutae, for instance, were an ancient Jewish sect that abstained from all animal foods, and the philosopher and poet Ab al-Al al-Maarr (9731057) avoided animal products and wrote do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals / Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught / for their young, not noble ladies.

But the word vegan was not created until 1944, when six members of The Vegan Society gathered in England and coined it from the first and last letters of vegetarian. According to The Vegan Society, The group felt a new word was required to describe them; something more concise than non-dairy vegetarians. Rejected words included dairyban, vitan, and benevore.

The Vegan Societys definition of a vegan describes it as a philosophy and way of living which seeks to excludeas far as is possible and practicableall forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

As that definition implies, veganism is not just a diet; indeed, for ethical vegans, it means not supporting any product or enterprise that exploits animals, from drugs that are tested on animals to zoos and aquariums that keep them in captivity. With such an ethic in mind, many vegans regard it as their obligation to speak out for animals by sharing with friends, family, and the public information regarding how animals suffer for food, fashion, experiments, entertainment, and more.

With the increasing popularity of veganism, however, has come an even more holistic and compassionate approach to defining what a vegan is. There is a growing movement that believes that the unity of suffering connects species, races, genders, classes, and religions in a very tangible waythat the exploitation of animals is intrinsically linked to the oppression of humans in its many forms (such as racism, sexism, ableism, and sizeism). For those within this movement, being vegan means advocating for and amplifying the voices of marginalized people as well as animals.

The main difference between vegan and vegetarian is that vegetarians do not eat meat and vegans do not eat anything that comes from an animal: meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. Vegans also do not wear or use other animal products, including leather, wool, silk, feathers and down, and beeswax, and they avoid products tested on animals, such as cosmetics and drugs (although the consensus is youre still vegan if you take necessary medications, whether theyre vegan or not, including the COVID vaccines).

Some vegetarians consume animal products: lacto-vegetarians exclude all meat and eggs in their diet but include dairy products, ovo-vegetarians exclude all meat and dairy but include eggs, and lacto-ovo vegetarians exclude all meat but include dairy and eggs.

Clearly, veganism is a stricter lifestyle choice than vegetarianism, and the vegan movement has given rise to several subsets that go beyond the baseline of avoiding animal products.

More and more, plant-based is being used as a synonym for vegan, especially in food marketing. Are they really the same? No. A plant-based diet consists primarily of plant foods, but a vegan diet completely excludes anything that comes from an animal. So, while plant-based might include ingredients like eggs, dairy, honey, or even a little meat, vegan means the food is entirely free of animal products. Moreover, veganism is a lifestyle, and vegans are likely to extend this to other aspects of their lives, including not wearing anything that comes from an animal or using products tested on them.

Many people today say they went vegan for their health. Indeed, both the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the British Dietetic Association acknowledge that a well-planned vegan diet is suitable for every age and stage of life. More specifically, a vegan diet rich in whole foods provides the following benefits.

According to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, diets that focus on nutritionally rich plant foods can give young adults a healthier heart, lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease by 52 percent. The 32-year study found that even participants who shifted to a plant-based diet as they aged gained heart-protective benefits, regardless of the quality of their original diet. The nutrients found in plant foods have been shown to reduce oxidation, lower inflammation, decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and improve other health outcomes associated with lower heart disease risk.

A study by researchers at Oxford University showed that vegans have a much lower risk of getting some forms of the disease. The 15-year-long study followed 61,647 British adults, of which 18,298 were vegetarian and 2,246 were vegan. They found that overall cancer incidencecompared to meat-eaterswas 11-percent lower in vegetarians and 19-percent lower in vegans. These findings correspond with numerous other studies looking at how diet affects cancer risk, including another one from Oxford University that analyzed data on more than 470,000 Britons and found that people who dont eat meat have a 14-percent lower cancer risk.

It seems that every day new research touts some health benefit of eating vegan. Among the latest good news is that a healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which currently affects 450 million people worldwide. The study, carried out by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, involved 10,684 participants and sought to identify the benefits of different plant-based diets and explore possible connections between this and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. Lead author of the study Professor Frank Hu said that consumption of polyphenol-rich plant foods like fruits, vegetables, coffee, and legumes are all closely linked to a healthy plant-based diet and lower risk of diabetes.

A recent review of studies on the link between diet and hypertension found that compared to people who eat meat, a vegetarian diet lowered the systolic blood pressure by an average of 2.66 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.69 mmHg. Those eating a vegan diet showed an even greater reduction of 3.12 mmHg systolic and 1.92 mmHg diastolic blood pressure. (Interestingly, subjects eating a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, which allows dairy products and eggs, showed no changes in diastolic blood pressure reduction.)

Studies show that following a diet rich in plant-based foods during midlife is associated with a significantly lower risk of cognitive impairmentincluding Alzheimers diseaselater in life. Research on plant-derived antioxidants, for instance, finds they reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress to central nervous system integrity, thereby protecting cognitive ability. Meanwhile, the phytochemicals present in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and other plants have been found to reduce the neuroinflammation that can contribute to dementia.

A low-fat vegan diet improves joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes joint pain, swelling, and eventually permanent joint damage. Certain foods, such as red meat and dairy, cause inflammation, which may make arthritis symptoms worse. A diet based on plants, however, can reduce or even eliminate arthritis pain.

Going vegan is not only good for the animals and your healthits good for the planet. A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use, and water use, says Joseph Poore of the University of Oxford and lead researcher on a 2018 report on food production. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car, he said, because these only cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

A growing list of experts agree that adopting a plant-based diet is crucial in the fight against climate change. According to a report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a global shift toward plant-based diets rich in pulses, nuts, fruits, and vegetables could lead to a substantial reduction of GHG emissions as compared to current dietary patterns in most industrialized countries. Another report found that 57 percent of global GHG emissions from food production come from meat and dairy productstwice those of plant foods.

Clearly, switching to a vegan diet may be the most important step humanity can take to ensure the future of our planet.

For additional resources, check out all of VegNews recipes and our guides to vegan beer, milk, cheese, and much more.

For more about veganism, read:How to Get Iron on a Vegan Diet10 High-Protein Vegan RecipesThe 7 Health Benefits of Not Eating Meat

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What's the Definition of Vegan? Is It a Diet or a Lifestyle? - VegNews

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

If the issue is celiac disease or gluten intolerance, consider what role bread plays in the meal. If its necessary for soaking up your delicious goat cheese or marinara sauce, you might find a good gluten-free bread at your local health food store. If its just to serve as a vehicle for the creamy Brie, you could offer a selection of store-bought gluten-free rice crackersor make your own.

This mindset makes almost everything easier. Breaking down a meal into components like flavor, texture, and sentimentality allowed me to get more creative. One year for Passover, I made potato-based matzo balls but left the rest of the soup exactly as it wascarrots, consomm, celery, and onion. It looked the same and tasted mostly the same, which made all of us happy.

In the most restrictive phase of Sammis six-food elimination diet, our protein sources were limited to seeds, lentils, and beans, none of which were among my older daughter Ronnis favorites. Because wed agreed to eat all the same foods when we were together, Ronni had to accept eating these meals a few nights a week, but I also made sure to find a gluten-free pasta we all liked, tweaking sauce recipes until we found several that worked well for Sammis restrictions. And, at least once a week, I made chocolate chip Sammi-safe pancakes for dinner with a big pile of fruit. Even Ronni would be giddy on pancake night.

I liked to keep a notebook filled with new recipe ideas and foods I wanted to try and would have family members and regular guests rate them on a scale of 1 to 5. If the majority of my people liked something, Id add it to my regular rotation. Know that, with so much new food in your life, youre bound to find things that dont quite work, but youll also be surprised to discover new meals you enjoy well enough to keep making them even when your restricted guests arent around.

Imagine your guests delight when they find that, instead of a card table off to the side marked VEGAN or GLUTEN-FREE in aggressive Sharpie, the whole meal is safe for them to eat. If you carefully think through the ingredient substitutions for some of your favorites, this is more achievable than it sounds.

For desserts, think about replacing nuts with seeds, cows milk with nondairy milk, regular flour with gluten-free flour, and butter with a dairy-free margarine. Audition a batch of safe cookies first; if you like them just as well, why not make all the cookies safe for your guests? Aside from the benefit of not risking cross-contamination, you also give your diners and family members the gift of not feeling othered or burdensome.

One Hanukkah, my daughters elimination diet required me to make our familys potato latkes using gluten-free flour. There was no discernable difference in flavor, so now, when we host guests with celiac disease, I make all of our latkes this way.

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Five Tips for Hosting Guests with Food Intolerances - Bon Appetit

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

When biting into a large, sweet apple from the local grocery store, its easy to take the characteristics of our modern fruits for granted.

We dont often consider the long history of migration and improvement, both random and intentional, that has led to the seemingly perfect apples we enjoy today. Were the apples of our past always delicious? W

here did our apples come from and how much have they changed?

The origins of the apple can be traced back to the Tian Shen mountains in modern day Kazakhstan, where the wild ancestor of apples, Malus sieversii, still grows in forests today. The largest city in Kazakhstan, Almaty, derives its name from the Kazhak word Almatau meaning apple mountain.

Archeological evidence suggests that human cultivation of apples began at least 5 000 years ago. During the last five millennia, our human ancestors transported apple seeds first across Asia via the Silk Road and eventually across the world.

But these ancient apples are quite different from the varieties we are accustomed to today. Wild apples are often small, acidic and bitter and generally not something you would pay $8.80/kg for.

Our research group compared todays cultivated apples (varieties grown on farms like Honeycrisp and McIntosh) to the fruits of their wild ancestors, Malus sieversii, to quantify how apple fruits have changed over thousands of years.

Our experiment made use of Canadas Apple Biodiversity Collection, an orchard in Nova Scotia containing over 1 000 different apple varieties from around the world, both wild and cultivated.

Growing trees from the mountains of Kazakhstan alongside cultivated varieties allowed our research team to make direct comparisons between todays apples and the wild apples of the ancient past.

Our study revealed that cultivated apples are 3.6 times heavier and 43 per cent less acidic than their wild counterparts. The apples we see in supermarkets today are both larger and more palatable than those that fed our ancestors.

This dramatic change in acidity, which contributes to the sourness of apples, suggests that the apples we enjoy today are much tastier than those of the past.

In addition, cultivated apples contain 68 per cent less phenolic content than wild apples. Phenolic compounds are bioactive substances in fruits that are linked to improved human health outcomes.

However, phenolic compounds also contribute to bitter taste, meaning the apples of today taste much less bitter than their ancestral counterparts.

Its likely that, over many centuries, humans chose to grow apples with less bioactive molecules in favour of those with a less bitter taste, resulting in decreased phenolic content in cultivated apples over time.

These results give us some insight into the taste preferences of our ancestors. Humans of the past likely selected for apples that were heavier, providing more food for more people, and less acidic and phenolic, making them more palatable.

A large proportion of these dramatic changes happened as a result of our ancestors choosing which apple varieties to bring along with them as they migrated around the world.

Over hundreds of generations, our ancestors selected apples that had traits that suited their needs, effectively conducting a long-term apple improvement experiment.

In the past 200 years, apple breeding programs have been more deliberate and more sophisticated, using modern techniques and technologies to make apples better faster.

Our group combined historical records with fruit trait data from our orchard to investigate trends in fruit characteristics among commercial varieties generated from the last 200 years of breeding.

Our investigation found that more recently released commercial apple varieties have better storage capabilities, contain more soluble solids (sugars) and have less phenolic content. R

ecent efforts to improve our apples have been focused on keeping fruits fresh for longer and making them taste sweeter. With the expansion of global food markets and our growing preferences for sweeter tastes, these changes are indicative of the desires of modern society.

Wild apples represent an invaluable source of genetic diversity material that could be used in the future to add new or improved characteristics to modern apple varieties.

Maintaining diverse crop collections, like Canadas Apple Biodiversity Collection, will be essential for the future of food improvement, as it allows agriculturalists to push the boundaries of what is possible with our fruits.

Indeed, when comparing apples to apples, the modern day fruit you see at the grocery store has fallen quite far from the ancestral tree - and that is something to be grateful for.

Tommy Davies, PhD student, Agriculture, Dalhousie University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Apples werent always big, juicy and sweet - ancient ones were small and bitter - News24

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Meat consumption sparks heated debates. On the one hand, the meat production sector can promote sustainable development in developing countries: globally, over one billion people work in the industry.

From a nutrition perspective, meat it is an undeniable source of proteins, vitamins and minerals, and in low-income regions can help reduce nutritional deficiencies.

On the other hand, the environmental impact of meat production is frequently highlighted. In some regions, livestock production is a significant contributor to biodiversity loss, and overall the sector is responsible for a large share of agricultures greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In terms of sustainability, in all its forms, does the good outweigh the bad? It depends on both the region and practice, suggest researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany, who have investigated how meat consumption must change to achieve the climate targets.

In new research published in the Annual Review of Resource Economics, the authors conclude that meat consumption must fall by at least 75% in rich countries.

They do not, however, suggest that meat consumption should drop significantly the world over, stressing that mass vegetarianism is not the best solution.

In Europe, consumers eat around 80kg of meat per year. This, according to study author Prof Dr Matin Qaim of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the University of Bonn, is not sustainable.

If all humans consumed as much meat as Europeans or North Americans, we would certainly miss the international climate targets and many ecosystems would collapse.

We therefore need to significantly reduce our meat consumption, ideally to 20 kilograms or less annually.

The researcher is not taking this position with focus on the food industry alone. He is also conscious of the environmental and food security impacts of feed, particularly given current geopolitical events.

At present, around half of all grains produced worldwide are used as animal feed.

The war in Ukraine and the resulting shortages in international markets for cereal grains also underline that less grain should be fed to animals in order to support food security.

High meat consumption levels for all are not compatible with sustainable development, noted the study authors, with significant reductions in meat consumption required in some regions.

Not in all, however. Low to moderation meat consumption levels are compatible with sustainable development, even for a world population of 10bn people.

This means that increases in meat consumption in some areas could be useful. The reason for this is at least two-fold. On the one hand, there are many regions where plant-based foods cannot be grown.

We cant live on grass, but ruminants can, noted study co-author Dr Martin Parlasca from the University of Bonn. Therefore, if grassland cannot be used in any other way, it makes perfect sense to keep livestock on it.

The authors are also against the entire planet following a vegetarian diet from a nutritional perspective. In poorer regions, where plant-based sources of high-quality proteins and micronutrients are scarce, meat consumption can help reduce deficiencies.

In such cases, animals are often a key element of a healthy diet, said Parlasca. For many people, they are also an important source of income. If the revenue from milk, eggs and meat is lost, this can threaten their livelihoods.

In any case, it is not the poorer countries consumption high levels of meat. It is the wealthier ones, and it is those that must reduce consumption, argue the researchers.

So how can reduced meat consumption be achieved? One potentially impactful tool lies in fiscal mechanisms, such as higher taxes on animal-based foods.

According to the researchers, while consumption taxes are a relatively blunt instrument, it could be used effectively without jeopardizing the competitiveness of domestic producers as a consumption tax would not differentiate between domestically produced and imported meat.

The concept is certainly unpopular, explained Prof Qaim, especially since a 10% or 20% surcharge probably wouldnt be enough if its supposed to have a steering effect.

The study author continued: Meat, however, has a high environmental cost that is not reflected in current prices. It would be entirely reasonable and fair to have consumers share more of these costs.

Source: Annual Review of Resource EconomicsMeat consumption and sustainabilityReview in Advance posted online 25 April 2022, publication expected October 2022DOI: Martin C Parlasca and Matin Qaim

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Meat consumption must fall by 75% in rich countries, argue researchers: Are vegetarian diets for all the solution? -

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

For a quick recap on why you might want to take a magnesium supplement in the first place, hundreds of processes in the body require the almighty mineral. While certain foods contain magnesium, your daily needs are quite high (310 to 420 milligrams daily), and an estimated 43% of U.S. adultscurrently fail to meet their daily needs through diet alone. Supplementing with magnesium is a way to proactively mind that gap, plus support brain health, heart health, muscle and skeletal health, blood sugar balance, and much more, on a daily basis.*

As for the best time of day to consume the mineral, it largely depends on the type of magnesium you're taking. There are a handful of forms, or complexes, of magnesium supplements that pair the mineral with different compounds to assist with its delivery.

Today, we're talking through the timing of four of the most popular forms. While you should always follow the timing instructions provided on your particular supplement (or by your doctor), these are good general best practices to keep in mind.

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What Time Of Day Should You Take Magnesium? It Depends Here's What To Know -

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

If you feel exhausted or stressed to the point of experiencingburnout, youre not alone. Feelings ofphysical exhaustion and mental weariness (aka burnout) have risen 38 percent since prepandemic levels. But rather than blame office politics and job stress, there may be another reason it's hard to muster energy and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand: Your vagus nerve may not be functioning as well as it could be, and the reason is your diet.

The vagus nerve is the control center for your resting metabolic functions, and a critical passageway for signals from the brain to the gut and the gut to the brain. Eat badly and your gut sends signals that there is need to stress, that this added sugar and unneeded fat has to be used for something epic, like escaping danger, or you may as well lie down and go to sleep and store all those extra calories for when you do have to run for your life.

When you're stressed, that also sends a signal along the Vegas nerve to load up on extra fuel for the fight or flight ahead. In both cases, the Vegas nerve is the superhighway for these signals. And according to a recentresearch paperpublishedThe BMJ, food and mood have been found to have an even greaterimpact on each other than previously thought.

The researchers looked at how diet and nutrition affected mental wellbeing and found thatwhat you eat directly impacts vagus nerve health, which affects the health and function of the central systems in your body. This is known asthe gut-brain connection. And the passage way works in both directions since when you are stressed you are likely to reach for all the wrong foods. Read on to find out which foods you can add to your diet to boost vagus nerve function and help ensure good overall health.

The vagus nerve is the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) your bodys ability to rest and digest which also plays a critical role in the gut-brain connection, and ultimately your health, wellbeing and mood. The vagus nerve consists of two nerves (left and right) that send signals between your brain, heart, and digestive system.

An impressive 75 percent of the nerve fibers in your parasympathetic nervous systempass along the vagus nerve. These fibers are what transport information between your gut and brain, which means what you eat has an overwhelming impact on how your brain functions and ultimately your mental outlook.

The parasympathetic nervous systemis responsible for many important body functions, including immune system [response], digestion, mood control, and heart rate, explains Trista Best, RD, a registered dietitian. These are involuntary functions that the PNS [regulates] with the help of healthy vagus nerves.

Some of the most notable signs of vagus nerve issues include brain fog, muscle aches, fatigue, and headache, Best adds. In addition, if your vagus nerve isnt functioning properly, you may experience othersymptoms depending on the cause and location of the nerve issue, including abdominal pain, bloating, acid reflux, changes in heart rate, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

Damage or poor function of the vagus nerve can cause gastroparesis. This refers to food not moving through the intestines during digestion. Gastroparesis is typically not life-threatening but can lead to serious complications, including dehydration, malnutrition, and a complete blockage of food from leaving the stomach.

Fainting is another condition that can arise from poor vagal nerve health. This occurs when a vagus nerve connected to your stress hormones overreact under certain conditions extreme heat, anxiety, hunger, pain, or chronic stress causing blood pressure to drop rapidly, leading to dizziness and faintness. Your body pulls all the oxygen into the muscles, and puts itself on the floor as a way of protecting your brain from further potential harm.

Interestingly, stimulating the vagus nerve in a clinical setting can provide therapeutic effects. Research hasdemonstrated that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) through manual or electric stimuli effectively treats various symptoms, including epilepsy, depression, heart disease, inflammation, and metabolic disorders. A2021 study published in The Lancet concluded that stimulation of the vagus nerve with an implanted device showed significant improvement in rheumatoid arthritis severity.

Ensuring your vagus nerve is functioning optimally is vital for good health. The good news is that you can improve your vagus nerve health holistically with the foods you eat.

Its been said a thousand times, but its worth repeating: Diet plays a critical role in your overall health, vitality, and bodily functions. For example, a nutrient that has a significant impact on vagus nerve health and function is tryptophan an essential amino acid thats criticalin the gut-brain connection. (There are 9 essential amino acids that are not created within the body, and must be acquired in food.)

Tryptophan aids in communication between the gut and brain via the vagus nerve pathway, and ultimatelyhelps lower inflammation throughout the body that may otherwise interfere with immune system working optimally.

Eating probiotic-rich,fermented foods, are also beneficial for the gut-brain connection, andpromote the growth of healthy bacteria, which research shows can activate the vagus nerve. Those foods include:

Besides adding more tryptophan-rich plant foods or fermented foods to your diet, you can implement other healthy lifestyle habits to boost vagus nerve health.

For exampleyoga, meditation, and breath work are correlated with the vagus nerves capacity to regulate stress responses, according to a study in the Frontiers In Psychiatry.These practices likely contribute to resilience and mitigate mood and anxiety symptoms.To reduce stress and boost immunity, try these three simple morning rituals.

As with most other health conditions, reducing inflammation is key to good vagus nerve health. Holistic approaches to fighting inflammation include eliminating or limiting sugar intake, maintaining a healthy weight, taking probiotics, and practicing intermittent fasting. These simple steps can help regulate vagus nerve function and reduce inflammation to help bring the nervous systems into balance for optimal health.

The vagus nerve serves as the communication pathway between the gut and brain, so improving its function helps boost mental wellbeing, energy and overall resilience. You can improve the health and function of your vagus nerve by eating a whole food plant-based diet (that includes fermented food and those richin tryptophan), maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting refined sugar. These dietary changes will reduce inflammation, improve gut health, and positively impact overall mentalhealth.

For more expert advice, check out The Beet's Health & Nutrition category.

Originally posted here:
The Surprising Reason You May Be Low Energy, and How to Fix It - The Beet

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively

A Hampshire care home has been told by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that it 'requires improvement' following an unannounced inspection. The inspection took place across three days in March 2022, with a report published on April 29.

Compton House is a care home in Winchester that provides care and support for up to 11 adults with autism, learning disabilities and other multiple needs. But the inspectors who visited have concluded: "The service was not able to demonstrate how they were meeting some of the underpinning principles of Right support, right care, right culture."

The CQC provides ratings based on five categories: safety, effectiveness, leadership, care and responsiveness. Compton House was judged to have fallen short in the first three of these categories meaning the overall rating of the facility was downgraded from 'good' to 'requires improvement'.

READ MORE: Rehab facility coming to Winchester with intensive addiction treatment for sufferers

The report noted how "38 staff had left the service within the last 12 months and there remained 19 vacancies for support workers." This led to a reliance on agency staff with it not being "uncommon for 50% of the shift to be agency staff during the day and at night".

In one situation it was reported that one agency worker had worked for 21 nights consecutively without a night off and another for 13 long day shifts without having a day off. Senior staff acknowledged that the high use of agency staff did have an impact, at times, on the quality of support being provided.

However, staff were praised for making sure people received information about medicines to help them "make their own decisions about medicines wherever possible." It was also noted that during a Covid-19 outbreak, "suitable measures had been put in place to help prevent this spreading."

Whilst inspectors heard about examples where staff supported people towards independence, they concluded that "clearer pathways and strategies to support people to attain future goals and aspirations were needed." More should also be done to ensure residents had a say in their meal planning after it was reported one person was given pasta at least twice "on 12 out of 14 days".

The CQC found: "There was no evidence that staff were encouraging the person to try alternatives despite their support plan identifying that they needed to be encouraged to eat a varied and healthy diet" and "records showed that one person ate nothing at all on one day".

Inspectors also noted that "leaders and the culture they created did not always support the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care." Evidence for this included the fact that safety related maintenance issues were not always resolved promptly and there were "concerns about how effectively safety related incidents were scrutinised".

Staff and relatives were positive about the new manager's impact on the service and visiting professionals commented positively on the relationships between staff and people.

However, when it came to promoting a positive culture, "more still needed to be done to ensure that people were adequately supported to take part in their chosen social and leisure interests on a regular basis."

The CQC has said it will continue to monitor the service and will "request an action plan from the provider to understand what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety."

In a statement to HampshireLive Compton House said: "We acknowledge the findings of the recent CQC report on Compton House and accept the need for improvements to the service. We care very much about providing safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led services to the people we support.

We are very sorry that our support did not meet these standards on this occasion. The service is already making a number of positive changes and will be working with the CQC to implement and oversee these improvements."

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Winchester care home 'requires improvement' in safety, effectiveness and leadership according to CQC report - Hampshire Live

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May 9th, 2022 | Filed under Diet Effectively
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