Nutrition Science and News

Is Your 'Gut Healing' Diet Actually Hurting You?

Tamara Duker Freuman - US News | July 2019

Severe elimination diets starve beneficial gut bacteria and may harm our guts – and our health.

After a recent lecture I gave, a woman approached me to share her experience with trying to heal her leaky gut syndrome on a six-month-long elimination diet, during which time she ate only four foods. Four foods. For six months.

Such anecdotes represent the increasingly popular notion that we can heal our guts of whatever ails us by whittling down our diets to a bare minimum – whether it's bone broth fasts, juice cleanses or stark elimination-type diets. Proponents of such regimens claim that constantly processing "hard-to-digest" foods (often defined arbitrarily) cause the gut to fatigue. As a result, the gut needs time to rest and regenerate. Another common claim is that all sorts of health problems result from having too much "bad bacteria," and by starving them of carbs, gluten or other dietary demons, the "good bacteria" can regain a foothold and restore balance.

Full Article: Link

Local Researchers Document Possible Link Between Fast-food Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes

Joe Tash - Del Mar Times | June 2019

Paul Mills, senior author of the fast food study. He is a professor and chief of Family Medicine and Public Health at the UCSD School of Medicine.

Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine found a possible correlation between eating a high-calorie fast-food breakfast, and "leaky gut syndrome," which could be a factor in developing Type 2 diabetes.

The results of the study were published recently in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Researchers studied the impact of a McDonald's breakfast on 30 people, who fell into three groups — healthy people, pre-diabetics, and those previously diagnosed with Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes.

Researchers made a "strong observation" that a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate diet is associated with leaky gut syndrome, which may in turn increase the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes, said Paul J. Mills, an Encinitas resident and senior author of the study. Mills is a professor and chief of Family Medicine and Public Health with the UCSD School of Medicine.

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Processed foods are a much bigger health problem than we thought

Julie Belluz - Vox | June 2019

They've been linked to disease and overeating. Could our microbiome explain why?

The case against processed food just keeps getting stronger. But, amazingly, we still don't understand exactly why it's so bad for us.

In two new papers published in the BMJ, the more ultraprocessed — or industrially manufactured — foods a person ate, the more likely they were to get sick and even die. In one study, they were more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems. The other linked an ultraprocessed diet to a higher risk of death from all causes.

Those studies followed a first-of-its-kind randomized controlled trial, out of the National Institutes of Health: Researchers found people following an ultraprocessed diet ate about 500 more calories per day than those consuming minimally processed, whole foods.

Sure, potato chips, cookies, and hot dogs are chock-full of salt, sugar, fat, and calories. They can cause us to gain weight and put us at a higher risk of diseases such as diabetes and obesity. But why? What if there's something unique about ultraprocessed foods that primes us to overeat and leads to bad health?

Full Article: Link

Death of the Calorie

Peter Wilson - The Economist | April/May 2019

For more than a century we've counted on calories to tell us what will make us fat. Peter Wilson says it's time to bury the world's most misleading measure.

The first time that Salvador Camacho thought he was going to die he was sitting in his father's Chrysler sedan with a friend listening to music. The 22-year-old engineering student was parked near his home in the central Mexican city of Toluca and in the fading evening light he didn't notice two tattooed men approach. Tori Amos's hit, "Bliss", had just started playing when the gang members pointed guns at the young men.

So began a 24-hour ordeal. Strong willed and solidly built, Camacho was singled out as the more stubborn of the pair. He was blindfolded and beaten. One robber eventually threw him to the ground, put a gun to the back of his head and told him it was time to die. He passed out, waking in a field with his hands tied behind his back, almost naked.
Camacho survived but, traumatized, he sank into depression. Soon he was drinking heavily and binge eating. His weight ballooned from a trim 70kg to 103kg.

That led to his second near-death experience, eight years later, in 2007. He remembers waking up and blinking at bright lights: he was being wheeled on a stretcher into a hospital emergency ward, with an attack of severe arrhythmia, or irregular heart beat. "A cardiologist told me that if I didn't lose weight and get my health under control I would be dead in five years," he says.

Full Article: Link

A Review of the Science of Colorful, Plant-Based Food and Practical Strategies for “Eating the Rainbow”

Deanna M. Minich - Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism | September 2018

Over the past decades, thousands of published studies have amassed supporting recommendations to consume fruits and vegetables for physiological and psychological health. Newer research has emerged to suggest that these plant-based foods contain a plethora of not only vitamins and minerals, but perhaps, most importantly, phytonutrients. (ese phytonutrients have known pleiotropic effects on cellular structure and function, ultimately resulting in the modulation of protein kinases and subsequent epigenetic modification in a manner that leads to improved outcomes. Even though eating fruits and vegetables is a well-known feature of a healthy dietary pattern, population intakes continue to be below federal recommendations. To encourage consumers to include fruits and vegetables into their diet, an “eat by color” approach is proposed in this review. Although each individual food may have numerous effects based on its constituents, the goal of this simplified approach was to identify general patterns of benefits based on the preponderance of scientific data and known mechanisms of food-based constituents. It is suggested that such a consumer-oriented categorization of these plant-based foods may lead to greater recognition of their importance in the daily diet throughout the lifespan. Other adjunctive strategies to heighten awareness of fruits and vegetables are discussed.​

Full Article: A Review of the Science of Colorful, Plant-Based Food and Practical Strategies for Eating the Rainbow.pdf