What News Have We Learned about the Diet over the Past Five Years?

Published: 2019-10-10
What News Have We Learned about the Diet over the Past Five Years?
Categories:  Diet
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1233 words
11 min read

A diet low in carbohydrates. Red meat. Sugar. Paleodieta. It is not easy to separate the serious reasons of simplification and emotions in the discussion of these complicated issues.

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If you spend working hours in the room, and in the evenings spend time watching TV or surfing the web, if you spend the whole day alone, and actively communicate in the evening - you can knock down the three key drivers of rhythm in your brain very effectively.

Conducted in January 2015 randomized survey showed that people who use iPad tablets at bedtime sleep harder. They have reduced REM sleep and in the morning they feel less rested. Soon the iPhone and Amazon tablets have got built-in muting the brightness of blue tones. Authors of Examine.Com have used free applications, automatically lowering the brightness - such as f.lux, - tried "smart" lights and yellow glasses, but they recognized that giant gadget-makers have reacted quite good.

Intestinal microflora. The intestine was always relevant since our ancestors have developed these long folded tubes for efficient digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.

In recent decades we began to realize that the intestinal role goes far beyond. Researches of healthy and sick people are beginning to discover the effect of intestinal microflora on the effectiveness of physical activity and physical stress on the microflora. It demonstrates the ability of intestinal bacteria interact with the brain through the immune, nervous and endocrine systems. There is a growing evidence that a healthy microflora - and, perhaps, some probiotics - can improve the condition of the people that are depressed and without it, maintain a healthy body weight, prevent the development of chronic diseases, etc.

However, supporting your microflora healthy, the task is more complicated than the simple consumption of certain probiotics. They contain bacteria which do not colonize the intestine and, although fiber is useful for routine of its inhabitants, some probiotics can cause digestive disorders - especially if taken in large quantities and without proper dosage correction. Moreover, the intestine needs not only plant foods: butyric acid (which is extracted from oil or produced by the same microflora) allows you to maintain a state of the mucous membrane. Other animal food components (e.g., the amino acid glutamine) are also important for intestinal health.

Berry revolution. Exotic "superfruits" like acai fruit, became the object of universal veneration. However, much cheaper (and often no less tasty) berries can be equally beneficial to our health.

They are useful not only for curing certain diseases (for example, cherry cures Alzheimer's disease), but also help to maintain normal levels of blood sugar pressure. They are recommended for healthy people regularly doing exercises. Some of their positive effects can be associated with antioxidative activity, but a large part caused by specific components in their composition such as anthocyanins, which gives colour to the blueberries. Whatever the mechanism of their action (for example, if we are talking about promoting cognitive abilities, berries can protect neurons from damage by toxins, improve blood flow to the CNS or signaling synapses), rich in berries diets will certainly bring more benefit than harm.

Berries, especially rich in anthocyanins, show excellent ability to prevent various diseases, to maintain cognitive function, etc. This does not mean that they are obviously more beneficial than other fruits, but they have more pros than any other food.

Insulin, obesity and doubts.

By itself, a diet low in carbohydrates is not so bad: in terms of control over blood sugar levels, it is certainly better than random absorption of fast food. But something in the promises of adherents of such power is in doubt - namely, their claims that an equal number of calories consumed, allows you to lose more weight than any other diet.

At the same time until the autumn of 2015, this "carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis" has never been tested in randomized controlled tests. Only recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Kevin Hall has published the results of a research, during which scientists have strictly controlled meals of each experimental person, comparing the effectiveness of diets with high (about 350 grams) carb versus a low diet (about 140 grams) of their content - at an equal number of calories consumed.

These results have shown almost no difference in either weight loss or a decrease in body fat. According to the defenders of diet low in carbohydrates, the problem is in too short terms of experiment, or a strong enough reducing the amount of carbohydrates. On the one hand, it is quite pertinent objections (though experimentation with prolonged isolation of a large group of people is not very cheap). On the other, it cannot be denied: the study still showed that in terms of weight loss there is no difference, and it was showed in strictly controlled conditions.

The fuss around the red meat.

At the end of 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a summary report, which caused a storm in the media all over the world.

In such a high-profile statement almost every word is incorrect. Firstly, nothing new is contained in the WHO report: it is a generalized data collected over the past 20 years, and was dedicated to the issue of increased risk of colorectal cancer in the use of various products from red meat. In general, they did not "found" anything, but simply felt the previous figures. Secondly, this calculation combines data obtained with the help of medical statistics and animal experiments, and experiments with cell cultures. For today, there are no truly solid and large-scale experiments devoted to the long-term effects of the consumption of red meat.

Furthermore, the report says that processed red meat products (they are carried to carcinogens group 1) and - separate - on the unprocessed (the line below it turned out, in the group 2A). It is worth remembering that the title of "carcinogenic" does not mean the danger of an unambiguous use of the product. In fact, potential carcinogens is a huge number of conventional materials, we have never thought to give up using, one of them may be called aloe or alcohol.

As always, the question is only in the number and circumstances of use. For example, a substance present in some plants, can significantly reduce the carcinogenic hazard of red meat (counteracting the negative effects of N-nitrozodietilenamin and products resulting from the heat treatment). Give up eating too much roasted meat and meat products can additionally help to reduce this risk.

We cannot categorically declare that the red meat is harmful. Slightly increased risk of colorectal cancer is associated with the use of deep-processed, heavily roasted meat. The combination of meat with plenty of vegetables will reduce its potential negative effects.

These are just a few among dozens of burning topics related to nutrition that have received great development in recent years. Each year brings new works and new data, causing us to enthusiastically dig in their results, looking for a really valuable finds. Hope soon we will be able see a lot of new discoveries.


Mark Lawrence; Tony Worsley. Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice.

Kemp, Elyria; Burton, Scot; Creyer, Elizabeth H.; Suter, Tracy A. When Do Nutrient Content and Nutrient Content Claims Matter? Assessing Consumer Tradeoffs between Carbohydrates and Fat.

Nutrition Health Review, No. 105, January 1, 2011. Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Going against the Grain?

Farenga, Stephen J.; Ness, Daniel. Calories, Energy, and the Food You Eat.


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