Woman drinking milk

Full Fat Dairy Products May Not Be All That Bad

Move over skinny cows! It’s great news for the extra cheese and “no such thing as too much butter” crowd; scientists have found that full fat dairy food does not increase your risk of heart attack. What, you may ask? Does this mean I can stop eating this strange excuse for ice cream I have in my freezer? Depends on your motivation, but one thing’s for sure, this is something that your stomach and heart will both approve of. Recent studies have shown that those who consume full fat dairy may actually be healthier than their low fat dairy eating (cow)nterparts. Read on for more.

The Evidence, Or Lack Thereof
What tastes good can’t possibly be good for you, right? Well, maybe it can. Recently, dairy researchers have found that, contrary to popular beliefs about saturated fats leading to heart attacks, there may be nutrients in dairy products that actually prevent them. According to researcher Stella Aslibekyan of Brown University, “Things like milk and cheese are very complex substances. We looked at heart attacks risk dairy products in their entirety and then looked at separate components of those dairy products, and it turns out that the results are null. Perhaps the evidence is not there.”

Benefits of Dairy
While Aslibekyan’s team is far from suggesting that the presence of saturated fats in dairy products is harmless, she does believe that other nutrients found in dairy, such as vitamin D, calcium, and potassium may offer protection from heart disease. According to a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases journal a study of 3,630 Costa Rican men found that dairy intake in heart attack sufferers was no different than that of those who did not get heart attacks, even when consumption was as high as 593 grams a day. Researcher, Dr. Anna Baylin says, ” The message is that it is important to look at the net effect of whole foods and dietary patterns and not only isolated nutrients.

Pouring milk

Full Fat Dairy May Be Healthy
Additional research corroborates the Brown University study. There is evidence that full fat dairy key reduce the risk of:

  • Diabetes
    Palmitoeic acid, occurring naturally in meat and full fat dairy food, can protect against diabetes and insulin resistance. One study showed that individuals who consumed a diet including whole fat dairy had higher blood levels of trans-palmitoleate, decreasing their risk of developing type -2 diabetes by two thirds, as compared to those with lower levels.
  • Cancer
    Conjugated linoleum acid, a.k.a. CLA, is a type of fat found naturally in cow’s milk that can significantly lower the risk of cancer. A study found that those who ate a minimum of four serving of high fat dairy per day had a 41 % lower risk of bowel cancer than people who ate less than one.
  • Heart Disease
    A sixteen year study of Australian adults found an indirect relationship between full fat dairy consumption and the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

Full Fat Dairy and Weight-Loss
Females who indulged in one serving of full fat dairy were found to gain 30% less weight over a nine year span than their low fat eating counterparts.

What do you think of the info? Willing to scrap your 1 and 2% milk for the pure stuff? Let us know!

Too Much TV Can Increase Your Child's Risk Of Diabetes

Is your television the elephant in the room? That huge flatscreen that claims the attention of everyone in the room, sucking the attention away from books, exercise, and school work. Even turned off, it tempts us as the ideal solution to awkward silences, forced conversation, and strenuous activity. The kids want it, it’s easier than coming up with alternatives, and, let’s face it, you kind of want to see it yourself. So why not just give in and put it on? Because there is a laundry list of research proving that too much television is bad for your kids, and now there’s a new addition. Recent studies link television viewing with childhood diabetes.

The Facts
In a study done by British researchers, 4,500 children between the ages of nine and ten were asked about the amount of time they spent playing computer games and watching television. Of that number, 37% reported screen time of 60 minutes or less, while 18% claimed a daily habit of three or more hours.

An examination of the children to determine insulin resistance, blood sugar levels, amount of body fat and levels of physical activities followed. Results revealed that the children who admitted to three or more hours of screen time per day had a high level of insulin resistance, lower levels of the appetite controlling leptin, and a higher BMI, all of which are known risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Group of children watching TV

However, before you push the off button on the remote control, keep in mind there are qualifying factors. According to Claire Nightingale, PhD, “Screen time could be capturing something about your behaviors-how much sedentary time you have and how much you break those up, (or) what your dietary habits (are), potentially, In other words, the tv watching may not be the problem, but rather the symptom of a larger problem.

Healthy Media Use
While there are no strict guidelines on how much tv viewing is dangerous, there are a few ways of keeping your child’s screen time down:

  • Plan to have media free family time together, like family dinners.
  • Designate media free locations in the home.
  • Find out how much time your child is spending on media and place limits on hours and types of media.
  • Engage in family activities like reading, sports, and talking.
  • Model behavior by turning off tv and smartphone during media free time.
  • Share media rules with grandparents or caregivers to make sure the rules remain consistent.
  • Get together with other parents in your community to advocate for healthier habits.

What are you doing to make sure that your kids’ viewing times are down to a minimum? Let us know what steps you’re taking as a parent to keep your kids healthy.

Healthy food

Popular Health Food Myths

Eating pop rocks with soda can make you explode. This is perhaps the most popular and most bizarre food myths of all time. Although some may argue that the two together may be a lethal combination, it is not because of its likelihood to cause human combustion. While the fate of Mikey of Life Cereal fame may be unknown, it is safe to say he did not suffer death by Poprock. With the rate at which information about food changes , it is often hard to determine which facts from fiction. Here are some of the most commonly believed food myths that may seem all too easy to believe.

Low Fat Food is Better for You
Look at food labels to determine what kinds of fats are in foods before reaching for the low fat version. Seattle based dietitian Andy Bellatti says, “A good intake of healthful fats is beneficial for cardiovascular health. Prioritize mono saturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Many low fat diets are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates which are increasingly becoming linked to increased heart disease.” Low fat food are often low in good fats, which are necessary to cholesterol management and absorption of nutrients and also contain high levels of sugar and sodium to compensate for the blandness of the taste quality.

Dairy Is Best For Healthy Bones
According to Bellatti, too many people confuse dairy with calcium. “Dairy contains calcium, but so do dark-leafy greens. Milk is fortified with vitamin D, just like all milk alternatives. Additionally, bone health goes beyond calcium and vitamin D.” Vitamin K is important for bone health and leafy green have it while dairy products do not. Magnesium, also absent from dairy, is important for bone health as well.

Assorted dairy

If you’re concerned about the health of your bones, you’re best bet is to make sure you get enough calcium in your diet and, as the Harvard School of Public Health points out, “milk isn’t the only, or even best source of calcium.” Collard greens, kale and bok choy may be considerably better sources of both calcium and vitamin D.

Drink 8 Glasses of Water per Day
Boston based nutritionist Alannah DiBona says there is no given rule for how much water a person needs in a day. “Water’s been touted as the cure for all sins, and in some ways, it’s true – proper hydration is necessary for just about anything body and mind-related. However sixty- four ounces per day isn’t always going to be the right number for you.” Instead, try to determine your water intake by dividing your body weight in half and trying to drink that number in ounces of water daily.

Dibona also urges us to “Remember that water is available to you through all liquids, fruits, vegetables, and that the mark of proper hydration is a very light yellow-colored urine.”

Eating Eggs Raises Cholesterol
According to DiBona, “More often than not, a person diagnosed with high cholesterol will go out of his or her way to avoid eggs, which is really unnecessary. The body’s cholesterol levels are influenced by certain saturated and trans fats; eggs contain very little saturated fat and absolutely no trans fat. Depriving yourself of an egg means foregoing 13 naturally occurring vitamins and minerals and a really delicious breakfast item.”

Poached egg

High Sodium Foods Taste Salty
While there is no doubt that management of salt and sodium intake are important, especially for those with diabetes and hypertension, you should know that salty taste is not necessarily characteristic of high sodium foods. Belatti explains, “While surface salt is noticeable, stealth sodium, added during processing, is harder to taste. This is why many people don’t realize that a Dunkin’ Donuts corn muffin contains as much sodium, as 9 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.” He stresses the importance of looking up nutrition information to check the sodium content of foods at your favorite restaurants and eateries.

What other food myths do you want to debunk? Let us know!

Woman testing for diabetes

How Resveratrol May Help Fight Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most frequently experienced form of diabetes, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that 29 million Americans suffer from this condition. What’s worse is that one in four Americans with type 2 diabetes aren’t aware that they have it. Around 86 million Americans (one in three Americans) are in a prediabetic state where blood glucose levels are elevated, but not enough to be classified as diabetes. Diabetes treatments include careful monitoring of blood sugar levels, diet and exercise and medication when necessary. A new study suggests that resveratrol may also be able to help fight diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association states, “[i]n type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time your pancreas isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal. Type 2 is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medication (pills) and insulin.”

Even if you don’t currently have type 2 diabetes, there is a good chance that you may be prediabetic. Lifestyle changes are one important way to help treat diabetes, or to lower your prediabetic levels. A diet that features foods low on the glycemic index is the first line of defense against diabetes type 2. Beans, whole grains, citrus fruits, berries and dark, leafy greens are all excellent choices when it comes to healthy eating. Exercise is also recommended for those who are prediabetic or who have type 2 diabetes. Sometimes, monitoring your blood glucose levels and making great lifestyle changes aren’t enough to treat diabetes.

Treatment
Traditionally, treatments for diabetes can include insulin or other injectables, oral medications in the form of pills, or even an aspirin regimen. However, a new study indicates that there may be another force that battles diabetes: resveratrol.

Resveratrol, found in foods such as red grapes, red wine, peanuts and blueberries, among others, may be an excellent dietary supplement for those with type 2 diabetes. Research and review of major reports and clinical trials indicates that resveratrol works against diabetes in several ways. Studies suggest that resveratrol helped with systolic blood pressure, hemoglobin AC1 and creatine. Because resveratrol is safe to use as a supplement, these findings are encouraging. Although resveratrol may be beneficial as a supplement to type 2 diabetes, it is important to note that resveratrol would not be effective as the sole treatment of diabetes. Resveratrol has no effect on fasting glucose levels, insulin and LDL/HDL. Additional research is necessary in order to conclude that resveratrol supplementation should be added to treatment plans for people with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a prevalent condition that has major impacts on the lives of those it affects. To reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, start increasing your intake of fruits, non-starchy vegetables and whole grains. Coupled with an active lifestyle, dietary changes can make a huge impact on your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Old couple drinking wine.

Undiagnosed Glucose Intolerance Common in Early Alzheimer’s Disease

New research being conducted at Georgetown University suggests that people suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease should be routinely tested for glucose intolerance. Alzheimer’s is “…a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Most believe that Alzheimer’s is a disease that only the elderly population struggles with, but there are many individuals with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia that has no known cure and that progressively worsens over time. Research out of Georgetown University suggests that those with early onset Alzheimer’s may have something else to be concerned with.

The Study
Dr. R. Scott Turner, MD, Ph.D. is a neurologist at Georgetown University and while conducting a nationwide study on people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, discovered that a large number of the participants were found to have undiagnosed glucose intolerance. According to an article published online at Diabetes News Journal, the study examines resveratrol, a natural phenol which can be commonly found in blueberries, red grapes, mulberries, red wine and raspberries, to determine whether or not it could bring about a change in the glucose levels in patients who suffer from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Turner also noted that resveratrol is believed to act on proteins in the brain in a way that mimics the effects of a low-calorie diet.

The way in which resveratrol works on proteins in the brain is important because previous studies indicate that calorie restrictions can help in preventing issues such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Dr. Turner’s study began with an emphasis on resveratrol and Alzheimer’s and for patients to be admitted he ordered a fasting glucose tolerance test to provide a baseline level. Patients were retested two hours after they ate and a continued high sugar level after two hours shows that glucose intolerance is high. It was during the glucose intolerance screenings that Turner noticed an interesting pattern: “All told, overall prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance of diabetes at two hours was 43 percent or nearly half of the recruited study candidate cohort.”

The Indications
Further research is required to determine what link, if any, diabetes and Alzheimer’s have. Turner’s study was designed to study the effects of resveratrol in the prevention of Alzheimer’s, therefore, it was not set up to study the diabetes/ Alzheimer’s relationship.

All of this information is fascinating, but what impact does it have on your life? First, eating a healthy, low-calorie diet can help in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Secondly, another possible way to help prevent or slow serious diseases is resveratrol. A glass of red wine or a handful or blueberries may do far more than please your palette, it may keep degenerative diseases at bay. Of course, before making any additions or serious changes to your eating habits and diet, it is strongly advised to check with your doctor to make sure you really are making helpful and healthy choices.

Glycemic Index list

Glycemic Index and Why It's Important to Beauty

Here at Resveralife, we hear new terms related to healthcare and diet all of the time. With so much information it can be hard to fully comprehend what each term or phrase relates to and why these things matter to us. One of the frequently discussed health terms is “glycemic index.” But what exactly is the glycemic index and why does it matter to us?

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a diet system, originally intended to aid diabetics in making appropriate food choices, that ranks foods based on the effect that carbohydrates have on our blood levels. Foods are assigned a numerical ranking, providing a way to identify which foods are beneficial for our blood sugar, and which could be damaging. Those foods with a high ranking have a rapid blood sugar response while those that are low help to maintain steady levels of of sugar. The glycemic index ranges from the zero to 100.

The Health Benefits

The theory upon which the glycemic index is based maintains that when we ingest foods that rank highly on the scale, our blood sugar response is quick. This results in a sugar spike in our bodies, which inevitably leads to the dreaded sugar crash. When we experience the comedown from sugar, our bodies respond by producing cravings for more sugar.

However, there are other benefits to knowing a food’s glycemic index score than knowing what to avoid if we don’t want to experience sugar crashes. When we consistently feed our bodies large amounts of sugar, there are a number of undesirable reactions. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that the glycemic index is “increasingly being used to prevent typical diseases of the Western world, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and acne.”

The benefits of understanding and following the glycemic index range all the way from our heart health to the clarity of our skin.

The Beauty Benefits

We all want radiant, clear, beautiful skin but most of us find the perfect complexion elusive. That’s because what we are putting into our bodies is just as important as what we are putting onto our bodies. We have all heard that eating a certain food whether it is pizza, chocolate or fries will cause breakouts. This is not true, though it is important to put thought into your foods. The reason that foods with a low ranking on the glycemic index may be beneficial to skin is that our blood sugar is responsible for inflammation in our bodies. By reducing the inflammatory response, we reduce the number, frequency or severity of pimples.

Experts caution that the glycemic index is a great starting place to help control our levels of blood sugar, but it is equally important to maintain a well-balanced diet. Some foods that rank highly on the glycemic index, fruits for example, are full of nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial both to our bodies and our skin. Paying attention to what we eat does help in our quest for healthy skin, though it is not the only determining factor in how our skin appears. A good guideline for both body and skin is to gravitate towards fresh produce, lean meats, low-fat dairy and avoid refined carbohydrates as much as possible. We won’t only be eating our way to clearer skin, but also to improved health.