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Weight-Loss App Advances Include Augmented Reality February 18, 2020Science and technology join forces in – PR Web

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Augmented Reality Grocery Check in MyNetDiary

MARLTON, N.J. (PRWEB) February 18, 2020

Many years ago the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started requiring detailed nutrition labels on prepared foods packaging, and only two years ago most restaurant chains were required to publish calorie counts of their menu items. Still, the number of overweight Americans continues to climb, in spite of published required nutrition and calorie information. Some recent advances in mobile weight-loss apps help users to be more aware of not just our calorie intake, but the nutrition value, as well. The latest update to MyNetDiary seeks to accomplish just that on the publics favorite device, the smartphone.

Growing diet and healthy lifestyle mobile app, MyNetDiary, launched several additions and advances in its latest release, including Augmented Reality (AR) Grocery Check. The new feature utilizes "food score" methodology, derived from food scores by nutrition experts using information found on the Nutrition Facts panel. As a shopper opens Grocery Check and points the phone's camera to the barcode of a packaged food, the app will instantly show its Food Grade or food score. Scan several products, and using AR, the app will mark each of them with a color-coded mark. Best choices receive green marks, while the worst receive red marks. Point the camera to any mark, and the app will display detailed nutritional information about it.

AR Grocery Check basically mimics how a nutrition expert would score the healthfulness of a food-based upon its nutrition label, explains MyNetDiary CEO Sergey Oreshko. You could pick up several boxes and read the Nutrition Facts panel if you have time. How do you know which nutrients are most important or not? The Grocery Check feature in MyNetDiary takes out the guesswork so quickly and conveniently right at the grocery aisle.

The equation uses the content of twelve required nutrients listed on the Nutrition Facts panel: total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carb, fiber, sugar, protein, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. With the addition of AR Grocery Check to MyNetDiary's mobile apps, comparing products and finding healthier ones is easier than ever, says Oreshko.

About MyNetDiary: Founded in 2005, MyNetDiary, Inc. is a private company headquartered in Marlton, NJ. MyNetDiary's mobile apps are available on iOS, Android, and Apple Watch, as well as an online diet and weight loss service at MyNetDiary helps people become healthier, more active, and lose weight. Downloaded by over 10 million people around the world, MyNetDiary is the most comprehensive, accurate, and user-friendly diet app in App Store and Google Play. MyNetDiary was featured in USA Today, Women's Health, NPR Morning Edition, Health Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Mac|Life, and on Lifetime Network, NBC-TV, and FOX 5 in DC.

For more information visit:MyNetDiary http://www.mynetdiary.comMyNetDiary Blog - on Facebook -

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Weight-Loss App Advances Include Augmented Reality February 18, 2020Science and technology join forces in - PR Web

This Weight-Loss-Friendly Smoothie Is Filled With Greens And Protein! – NDTV Food

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm

There are plenty of yummy and filling preparations that could help you in your weight loss journey


From sneaking greens in your meals totalking about the importance of green vegetables, our mothers tried very hard to make sure we load up on these superfoods. It is time to recall the pearls of wisdomGreen vegetables like spinach, bathua, methi, sarso leaves are replete with nutrition. Spinach, especially, has been a huge part of our growing up. Spinach (or palak as we call it in India) is enriched with iron, magnesium, potassium and a variety of antioxidants that help fight free radical activity taking a toll on our skin, immunity and overall health. Spinach is also a good source of B Vitamins and folate that are instrumental for a smooth pregnancy.

If you are on a weight loss diet perchance, including spinach in your diet could take it a notch up. Spinach is a good source of fibre, which takes a while to digest; and because it stays in your system, you do not feel the constant urge to grab a snack or two. If you eat in controlled portions, you would not put on weight so easily. One of the easiest ways to have spinach is to make a smoothie out of it. You can, in fact, blend it with a couple of fruits and veggies to make one power-packed drink. For instance, this green smoothie has the goodness of spinach, apple, banana and flaxseeds. (Recipe below).

(Also Read:High Protein Breakfast: This Spinach And Eggs Dish Is Just What You Need To Kick-Start Your Day)

Weight loss is no cakewalk, but that does not mean you have to make your journey a dreadful one. There are plenty of yummy and filling preparations that could help you shed those extra kilos easily.Spinach, in addition to being a good source of fibre, is also low in calories and contain negligible amount of fat. Apples too are super rich in fibres that help facilitate smooth digestion, a healthy digestion is key for weight loss. Apples contain very less amount of calories. Apple is also dubbed as a negative calorie food. Banana contains good carbs, but they are very nutritious. They provide a range of healthy and vital nutrients and work as a good substitute for sugar. Another star ingredient of this smoothie is flaxseed. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Did you know that 100 grams serving of flaxseeds contain a whopping 18 grams protein? Protein helps induce a feeling of satiety that helps accelerate weight loss, they tend to check cravings too.

(Also Read:High Protein Breakfast: This Spinach And Eggs Dish Is Just What You Need To Kick-Start Your Day)


1 cup of washed spinach

Half a cup of washed and diced apples (make sure you deseed them in advance)

Half cup of chopped bananas

1 tbsp of flaxseeds (ground)

(Also Read:6 Excellent Sources Of Vegetarian Protein for Your Daily Diet)


1. In a blender add spinach, apples, bananas and give it a good blend until smooth. If the consistency is not to your liking, you can add some water too. Add flaxseeds and blend again.

2. Take the smoothie out of blender and serve. You can top the smoothie with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

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This Weight-Loss-Friendly Smoothie Is Filled With Greens And Protein! - NDTV Food

Plant-Based Diets and Regenerative Ag Have Sparked a Pea and Lentil Renaissance – Civil Eats

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Three decades ago, when David Oien and three other organic farmers from central Montana began planting lentils, it was a rebellious act. Oiens farm was surrounded by thousands of acres of wheat, the popular crop that blankets large swaths of arable land in the Northern Plains, and no one in the area was planting anything else.

The farmers, who formed Timeless Seeds, Inc. to grow alternative crops and find new markets, helped popularize pulsesi.e., lentils, peas, and chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)in their region and beyond. They started off with just a few hundred acres and a handful of volunteers, but today, Timeless is a million-dollar business that works with more than 40 organic producers and grows food for major retailers and restaurants. The company was featured in the 2016 book The Lentil Underground, which follows the farmers work and describes Oien and his colleagues as renegades and pioneers.

Many other farmers, both conventional and organic, have since followed their lead by growing pulses. And the Northern Plains, which saw virtually no lentils, peas, or chickpeas a generation ago, has become the leading pulse-growing region in the U.S. Yet despite this initial growth, pulses were for years perceived as niche crops, unfamiliar to many Americans and relegated to the plates of vegans, vegetarians, hippies, and immigrants. Most were quickly exported out of the country.

Thats now changing as concerns over human health and climate change are bringing these crops to the forefront in American grocery stores, kitchens, and restaurants, leading to growing domestic demand and enticing more farmers to grow them.

For those invested in regenerative agriculturepractices that rebuild soil and sequester carbonpulses are becoming a coveted tool. Simultaneously, these crops are now key ingredients in plant-centric dietsboth in their natural state and in a growing number of packaged, processed products.

The growth has been phenomenal, said Jeff Rumney, vice president of marketing with the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council. Weve seen a huge run-up in product innovation and U.S. product launches with pulse ingredients.

Though they are one of the oldest crops on earth, in many cultures lentils and other pulses have long been considered a poor mans food. During the Great Depression, many Americans relied heavily on lentils for nutrition, tarnishing their image for years to come.

David Oien holds packaged lentils. (Photo courtesy of David Oien)

In my fathers generation, everything was meat and potatoes, there was no domestic demand for pulses, said Rumney.

In the U.S., pulse crops got their start in the Palouse, an agricultural area that encompasses parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. There, they were first cultivated by Seventh Day Adventists, avid vegans and vegetarians, and market infrastructure for the crops didnt exist. In addition, a lack of federal government subsidies for pulses kept most farmers growing wheat and other commodities.

We knew pulses are important to the soil, we knew we could grow them, but nobody was eating them, Oien said, adding that Timeless Seeds had to figure out how to process, package, and find markets. [For] the first 25 years, we had to pretty much beg farmers to give these crops a try.

In parts of the Great Plains, where water is sparse and crops are mostly grown under dryland conditions, meaning they arent irrigated, farmers had for generations grown winter wheat for 10 months, followed by a 14-month period without a crop called summer fallow. During summer fallow, land is left barren to recapture soil moisture through rainfall, thus improving the following years wheat crop. More recently, some growers have also adapted no-till practices hand in hand with the use of copious herbicides.

But for many, said Oien, growing just one crop has proved increasingly untenable. Without a diversity of roots in the soil, farmers have had to use more and more synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Their soil has lost organic matter. Droughts have decimated their crops. Theyve lost millions every year to a pest called the wheat stem softfly. And plummeting commodity prices have led many farming operations to the brink of bankruptcy.

In the early 2000s, word began to spread that pulses could successfully be grown in the Northern Plains and that their export markets were booming, and some farmers in the area began to see these crops as tickets out of the commodity monocrop trap. Local land grant universities, such as University of Idaho and Montana State, began to support the role pulse crops could play in expanding economic opportunities when planted in rotation with wheat.

Lentil farm photo CC-licensed by IslandVita.

In places like eastern Montana and North Dakota, its become really difficult for two generations to live on the farm, said Rumney. By growing another crop on that fallow ground, farmers doubled their income. This transformation has allowed their sons and daughters to stay on the farm.

In 1999, U.S. farmers harvested approximately half a million acres of pulse crops, and the vast majority of those were planted in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, pulses have seen steady growth. By 2014, the crop had topped a million acres and by 2018, it hit 2.2 million acres.

Today, Montana leads in pulse production, followed by North Dakota. In Montana, total lentil, dry pea, and chickpea acreage has almost tripled over the past decade, going from zero to over a million acres. And in North Dakota, its at about 650,000 acres.

And as lentils, peas, and chickpeas have turned mainstream, large agribusinesses such as Sabra and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) have also jumped in to begin buying pulse crops from large farms. Just a few years ago, most of those companies crops were sent overseas; 80 percent of peas, 80 percent of lentils, and the vast majority of chickpeas were exported to India, Middle Eastern countries, and China, Rumney said. But in recent years, changing consumer trends have led to the development of the U.S. market. Today, only about 60 percent of lentils and peas are exported. And thanks to the exploding popularity of hummus, just 50 percent of chickpeas get sent out of the U.S.

Much of the growth has been in conventional pulses, but organic oneswhich command 3 to 5 times the price of their conventional counterpartshave also seen a steady increase, Oien said. Large agribusinesses are jumping in to grow organically, he added, but since most of those pulses are exported, small organic farmers can still count on premiums and incentives, he said.

And while conventionally grown pulse crops often end up as ingredients in processed foods such as snacks and meat substitutes, most of the organic pulses grown by Timeless farmers are destined for Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and other natural food stores, or gourmet restaurants.

Pulses and rice for sale (Photo CC-licensed by Anthony on Flickr)

Our customers realize the impact organic pulses can have, Oien said. They are happy to pay more because theyre buying more than lentils. Theyre buying family farms, healthy soil, and a lower carbon footprint.

When the United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, it also added to these foods visibility, Oien said. People started to realize their nutritional value and their environmental benefits. And that has brought pulse crops to the radar screens of farmers, chefs, food editors, and people shopping in grocery stores.

A major factor in pulses new visibility has been the growing popularity of the so-called plant-forward diet (also known as mostly plant-based or flexitarian). Already, over one-third of Americans identify wanting to follow such a diet, according to a OnePoll study.

Pulses are perfect for those looking to reduce their meat intake, because theyre high in protein, dietary fiber, and several vitamins and minerals. In addition, theyre gluten-free, arent genetically modified, and are not considered major allergens like soy or wheat.

Scientists around the world have recently advocated for drastically cutting meat consumption. Major research published in Nature and The Lancet over the last year advocates for a mostly plant-based diet to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population, protect the environment, and boost human health benefits.

Right now, you have an animal-centric set of choices when you walk into a restaurant or other food place away from home, said Sophie Egan, the program director of Menus of Change, an ambitious project from The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health that aims to change how Americans eat. The vision is that the options would enable you to eat a flexitarian type of diet and that the plant-based dishes are cooked in a way that can stand head to head with animal-based ones when it comes to taste.

Menus of Change encourages chefs to adopt the Protein Flip, a concept that advocates moving away from feeding plant proteins and grains to animals, and instead feeding those plant proteins and whole grains directly to diners. The idea is to make pulses the meals center, using culinary traditions from around the world, and using only small servings of humanely raised, grass fed meat for blending, as a condiment, or as side dishes. Adoption of similar programs have been gaining ground across the foodservice industry, Egan said.

A related project, the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, uses campus dining halls as incubators and innovators for a diet based mostly on plants. The collaborative, a working group that consists of 57 institutions and 236 members, including dining directors and executive chefs, academic faculty, scholars, and student fellows, focuses on evidence-based research, education, and innovation.

Universities and their students are at the front line of adoption for the industry as a whole, she said. Campus dining can implement innovative plant-based meals and then export those solutions to shift Americas culinary practices, Egan said, because college students are in their identity formation around food choices, and many college programs are independently run so they can implement changes more nimbly, while food chains have to shift the big ship.

The USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council has worked hard to promote the plant-centric diet, Rumney said, noting that its now popular in North America, but also all over the developed world. In the U.S., Rumney said, value added pulse products such as plant-based burgers, pasta, baby food, protein bars, and protein coffee are gaining market share. Theres even rising demand for pulse protein in pet foods. The organization is also working with the federal government to introduce pulses into the school lunch program, both in their whole form and as pasta, and to get them recognized as a vegetable, he said.

Of particular note is the explosion of pea protein, Rumney said, which is now second to soy as an ingredient in packaged/processed protein alternatives. Pea protein, derived from yellow peas, is a key ingredient in products ranging from meat substitutes such as Beyond Meats Beyond Burger to energy bars, plant milk, and dairy-free ice cream. According to data the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council shared, the market research firm Mintel found that over 1,800 global products that use pea protein as an ingredient launched in 2019. Plant-based meat has fueled a good part of this growth. The North America pea protein market for meat substitutes is projected to surpass $21 million by 2026, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

And major food companies, ranging from Cargill to Kelloggs, are now investing in pea protein production and/or products. According to McKinsey, interest in pea protein grew at a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent from 2004 to 2019. The company concluded that pea protein and cultured meat show the most promise [of the existing alternative proteins] for market growth over the coming five to 10 years.

The success of pea-based meat substitutes is a start, said Egan, the Menus of Change director, but meat analogues are only a small part of the solution. While plant-based meat may be environmentally better, she said, its nutritional value isnt better than that of a meat patty. Minimally processed whole foods, especially pulses in their intact form, have a much more significant role to play, Egan said, but there hasnt been much capital going into their marketing.

Egan says chefs will play a prime role in creating cachet and excitement about the whole foods-based approach, which has the potential to boost nutrition for humans around the world. Increasingly, more chefs are choosing to emphasize plant ingredients. There is tremendous business opportunity here to offer these new protein options, Egan said.

In addition to helping overhaul American diets, pulses also have the potential to play a major role on organic and regenerative farms. As legumes, they can draw nitrogen from the atmosphere and dont require much, if any, synthetic fertilizer, said Meagan Schipanski, associate professor of agroecology at Colorado State University. They are great to grow in a rotation with other crops because they leave some nitrogen behind in the soil. This is especially true if theyre planted as forage for grazing animals or cover crops, but also if theyre harvested as cash crops.

John Wicks in his lentil field. (Photo courtesy of John Wicks)

And their nitrogen is less susceptible to being washed away when it rains than the nitrogen supplied by synthetic fertilizers. Pulses increase good microbes and soil organic matter, she said, and because of their nitrogen-fixing abilities, they can also help convert soil into a carbon sink and, in some cases, decrease wind erosion.

Peas, lentils, and chickpeas can also make land more productive and water-efficient when replacing fallow periods. Theyre especially suited to dryland farming because theyre shallow-rooted crops, so they dont use a lot of moisture. And when pulses are planted in rotation with wheat or other cereals, they can disrupt the disease, insect, and weed cycles, leading to higher yields and a reduced need for chemical inputs, particularly herbicides.

Most importantly, Schipanski said, pulses can provide additional income to farmers long dependent on a single crop. While farmers in the Central Plains have been slower than in other regions to add pulse crops to their rotations, there is growing interest and awareness among producers of the success stories (with pulses) in Montana and other places, Schipanski said. With commodity prices so low, more producers are looking for alternative crops or at integrating grazed cover crops into their system to spread their risk and diversify.

Schipanskis research shows that grazing cover crops in dryland farming systems can improve soil health and boost profitability. Farmers get paid to graze the cattle and enough cover crop residue remains in the fields to reap soil benefits, Schipanski said.

Even for conventional farmers, adding pulses into their rotation can begin a shift toward other, more sustainable practices, said Liz Carlisle, author of the Lentil Underground and assistant professor in the Environmental Studies Program at University of California, Santa Barbara.

The learning thats happening for farmers whove been working with just one commodity and relying on the industrial model of production is tremendous, Carlisle said. They realize that the plants themselves can be a self-supporting ecosystem and they, the farmers, are just working as stewards or facilitators of that ecosystem.

After adding pulses to their rotations, these farmers, often start thinking about further reducing their inputs, adding perennial crops, or integrating animals into their operation. Planting pulses leads them to ask questions about how they can make their farming systems more ecological, she said.

One challenge pulse crops have faced in recent years is a decrease in export markets due to politics and trade wars. After the U.S. withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in 2017, India imposed sizable tariffs on pulses. And when the U.S. imposed tariffs on China, that country retaliated, imposing its own tariffs on pulse crops (and other goods). As a result, prices for conventional lentils, chickpeas and peas crashed and acres planted decreased.

Farmers who wish to add pulses to their rotation should also consider that infrastructure is still limited in some areas, said Schipanski, the Colorado State professor. After a processing facility was built in Nebraska, the state saw a 300 percent increase in acreage of field peas in the area around the facility, she said. A huge piece of the puzzle is establishing the infrastructure and markets to support these emerging crops, said Schipanski.

As infrastructure develops, pulses should play a bigger role in U.S. agriculture, said Oien of Timeless Seeds, though for now their consumption remains a blip when compared with meat consumption. Annual consumption of meat in the U.S. is about 220 pounds per person per year, while the average consumption of lentils is 8 to 10 ounces per capita. When Timeless launched, lentil consumption was at about 2 ounces per year, he said.

Theres a big opportunity for building up the domestic market, said Oien. Regenerative farming depends on what people put on their plates every lunch and dinner. If they eat pulses, there will be a market and farmers will grow them.

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Plant-Based Diets and Regenerative Ag Have Sparked a Pea and Lentil Renaissance - Civil Eats

DNA tests may soon give you the optimum diet for your body down to the variety of lettuce – MarketWatch

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

People are pouring their blood, spit and tears into finding the best diet for their bodies.

April Summerford, a womens health coach in Fresno, Calif., has spent thousands of dollars over the past several years taking at-home DNA tests, reading her hormone levels and analyzing the bacteria in her gut to create the perfect diet for her particular body. She eats organic foods and avoids alcohol, because her DNA results revealed that she doesnt detox well. She learned that she has an insulin sensitivity, so she follows a low-carb diet to manage blood sugar. And after years of suffering chronic pain and issues such as leaky gut, she said her quality of life is better than ever.

Ive been able to biohack my way to feeling better through what, I think, is the future of wellness, Summerford, 34, told MarketWatch.

Americans are losing the battle of the bulge, with half of the country expected to be obese within the next 10 years, according to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. About 40% of adults and 19% of kids and teens are obese, which raises their risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A 2017 review estimated that the medical cost of obesity in the U.S. is $342.2 billion a year, while the CDC puts the indirect costs of obesity-related health issues such as absenteeism, premature disability, declines in productivity and earlier death at between $3 billion and $6.4 billion a year.

One potentially promising development that could help reduce obesity is nutrigenomics, which studies how genes determine the bodys response to the nutrients in food and drinks and which generated more than $170 million in revenue in 2018, according to Global Market Insights, driven in part by direct-to-consumer genetic-testing companies including 23andMe, Ancestry and MapMyGenome. The analysis expects robust growth for nutrigenomics in the near future.

The theory is that while there is no single obesity gene (in fact, hundreds may be connected to being overweight and obese), different DNA markers, hormones and gut microbes can indicate health traits such as how well a person metabolizes food. And this knowledge can be used to help the 93.3 million adults in the U.S. who are currently obese to slim down or maintain a healthy weight.

Global market research group Mintel predicts that as tech advances make personal-health-testing kits more accessible and affordable, hyper-individualized smart diets will become one of the top three global food and beverage trends over the next 10 years.

So a decade from now, you might eat a specific lettuce variety that has been developed through smart farming to have the most iron in it, because your biometric readings show that you need more iron that day. Or youll customize your Starbucks SBUX, -0.24% order down to the grams of sugar in the drink, based on your blood sugar.

Customers already want to go to a coffee shop and get something that is completely designed to their specifications, Jenny Zegler, the associate director of food and drink market research at Mintel, told MarketWatch. And I think the expectation is only going to grow as consumers get more of this data, and as they can easily test themselves.

Many people are hungry to learn more about themselves. After all, the Apple Watch isnt only dominating the smartwatch market; these timepieces which can now take an electrocardiogram, measure your heart rate and call 911 if you fall outsold the entire Swiss watch industry last year, according to Strategy Analytics. Alphabets GOOG, +0.12% GOOGL, +0.20% Google bought Fitbit for $2.1 billionin November to boost its health-care ecosystem. And now the direct-to-consumer genetic-testing market is expected to pass $2.5 billion by 2025, with one study estimating that around 100 million people worldwide will have their DNA mapped by 2021.

So as tech CEOs including Twitters TWTR, +2.33% Jack Dorsey have helped make biohacking cool, people like health coach Summerford are using their biometrics to decode the best diets for their bodies.

Everyone knows the basic pillars of good health: You should exercise, avoid too much sugar. But its annoying when you follow broad-strokes advice and it doesnt work, said Summerford. Were all different. So what do I need?

There are plenty of brands ready to tell her for a price. Personalized lifestyle plans that use at-home DNA tests abound, including DNAFit (starting at $189), Profile Precise ($300) and Nutrigenomix ($500). Customers take a cheek swab or finger-prick blood test at home to provide the genetic sample, which is sent to the companys lab. (Those getting their gut biomes analyzed by Viome for $399 have to provide a stool sample.) GenoPalate is able to use 23andMe and Ancestry DNA samples to customize a meal plan for $69.

Even Jenny Craigs new DNA Decoder Plan ($100 for new customers) showed really promising results after tests in Boston and other markets last year, board Chairman Monty Sharma said.

We saw every single customer of ours lose weight, he said, without elaborating. Whats more, Jenny Craig customers who tried the DNA kit were staying with the program 25% longer than those who werent using the DNA option, he said.

Customers also want to take the guesswork out of whats good for them, which is where devices like the Lumen come in. The company has developed a $349 hand-held breathalyzer that measures whether your body is burning fats or carbs for fuel at the moment. It then tailors your diet recommendations in an app, depending on the metabolic gases found in your breath. Lumen has shipped more than 13,000 devices around the world since launching in 2018, and its sold out until March.

There will be a lot more of, How can you make this easy for me? said Zegler.

Nestl Japan has been testing personalized diets using artificial intelligence, social media and DNA kits under its Nestl Wellness Ambassador program. Subscribers drink nutrient-fortified teas tailored to their genetic needs, which come in the form of Nespresso-like capsules. Mintels Zegler mused that people may one day be able to 3D-print exactly which foods their blood or spit tests say their bodies need.

Granted, were still years away from hyper-customized coffee orders down to the grams of sugar and caffeine, or 3D-printing food based on that days biometrics becoming a reality. And not everyone has been thrilled by their DNA diet experience.

Diet and fitness coach Ginny Erwin, 54, spent $200 on Habit, a personalized nutrition-and-meal-delivery company in which Campbell Soup CPB, -0.77% invested $32 million in 2016. (Habit is now owned by Viome.) The process involved fasting for 10 hours, and then taking a blood sample before and after drinking a shake mixed with carbs, fats and protein; this measured how her body reacted to the ingredients in the shake.

I became ill from blood sugar overload, she said, including stomach cramps and diarrhea. (A few journalists who have test-driven the diet also complained about the shake.) And once her test results were in, she said it gave her generic health advice, and not the specific dietary recommendations she wanted. She reached out to the company several times, but never received a response, although she did get a refund once the business restructured to scrap the DNA test. The company didnt respond to MarketWatchs requests for comment.

DNA testing might give you some grains of information, but there is so much more to it than that, said Erwin, who ultimately hired a registered dietitian to get personalized nutrition coaching. It is such a bigger picture than looking at if youre lactose-sensitive or gluten-sensitive. Your genetics load your gun, and then your lifestyle pulls the trigger.

Researchers including Dr. Avigdor Arad, the director of the Mount Sinai Physiolab in New York, agree that many DNA diets promise more than they can deliver for now. A 2018 Stanford study found no significant difference in weight change when people were on a diet that matched their DNA versus one that didnt. But we also know that a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss doesnt work, because everyones body is different. A study last year found that even identical twins process food differently.

Theres a way to biohack weight loss; researchers are still in the process of figuring it out.

Nutrigenomics is still a growing field. And using DNA or microbiomes to guide us on what to eat its a fantastic idea; its certainly where we are going in the future, Arad told MarketWatch. But I dont think we are really there yet.

Nicole Lyn Pesce is a reporter at MarketWatch.

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DNA tests may soon give you the optimum diet for your body down to the variety of lettuce - MarketWatch

Study shows benefits of walnuts include boosting gut, heart health – Alton Telegraph

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Study shows benefits of walnuts include boosting gut, heart health

Reaching for a snack between mealtimes or after a workout is something we all do. And sometimes that snack is whatever is at the gas station or something packaged and tasty (but not always healthy) from the vending machine at work. But everything we eat can affect our gut health and risk for heart disease, so we can be more strategic about our snacking.

According to new research published in the Journal of Nutrition, swapping out your usual salty or sweet afternoon pick-me-up for walnuts can have some serious heart health benefits.

Researchers looked at 42 participants who were overweight or obese and were between the ages of 30 and 65. Before the study began, everyone was placed on a diet that mirrored an average American diet (where 12 percent of daily calories came from saturated fat) for two weeks. Then, participants switched to diets that were lower in saturated fat, where 7 percent of daily calories came from saturated fat, and incorporated walnuts. After munching on two handfuls of walnuts daily for six weeks in place of snacks like chips or crackers, all participants saw lower cholesterol levels and gut bacteria that improved their risk of heart disease. (Typically, one serving of walnuts is one ounce about one handful.)

Related video: These brain-boosting foods help improve your memory

This is likely because eating whole walnuts daily lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure, study authors Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., distinguished professor of nutrition, and Kristina Petersen, Ph.D., assistant research professor, both in the department of nutritional sciences at Penn State University, explained to Bicycling. And while the researchers said that this study showed correlation, not causation, previous research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association also found that adding walnuts to a persons diet can help lower blood pressure, especially when they are replacing foods high in saturated fat.

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As for how gut health affects your risk of heart disease? That may be due in part to the fact that walnuts contain fiber, which can positively affect gut bacteria. Additionally, the unsaturated fats and omega-3s in walnuts can contribute to favorable gut microbiomes which may aid in lowering blood pressure, leading to a lower risk for heart disease according to Kris-Etherton and Petersen.

Overall, swapping out unhealthy snacks for a serving of walnuts or other nuts is a relatively small change that will have major health benefits and is easier than doing a radical diet or exercise overhaul, Kris-Etherton and Petersen said.

And, its not just people at risk for heart disease, the study authors explained. Nuts are recommended in many heart-healthy diets, such the Mediterranean diet.

Its a great way to encourage people who are already healthy to stay healthy, Petersen said.

In full disclosure, this one study was supported by grants from the The California Walnut Commission. However, there have been ample amounts of independent research on all the heart healthy components of nuts such as omega-3s, unsaturated fats, and fiber. Plus, adding nuts to your diet promotes healthy aging and can help prevent against risk of chronic disease, previous research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found. So, even if you are healthy in your 20s or 30s, as you age, blood pressure and cholesterol levels increase, which is why eating a heart-healthy diet is important no matter your age or activity level, the study authors explained.

The bottom line: Snacking on nuts is something people can do now to maintain health, rather than waiting until later in life. While this study looked at walnuts specifically, the researchers pointed out that adding a variety of nuts can help a person keep up this healthy habit, as eating walnuts daily may get boring.

Its much harder to reverse disease once it comes about, Kris-Etherton said. So prevention is key.

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Study shows benefits of walnuts include boosting gut, heart health - Alton Telegraph

The 5 food tweaks to slash hundreds of calories from your diet and boost weight loss – The Sun

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

LOSING weight doesn't have to involve complicated diets or extreme approaches.

According to top dietitian Susie Burrell, the key to blitzing your body fat is actually as simple as making a few easy tweaks to your meals.


The Sydney-based expert says by making simple swaps to your regular choices, it can save you eating hundreds or possibly thousands of calories each week.

Here, Susie, founder of popular websiteShape Me, reveals her smart food switches you can make this month to boost your weight loss...

Whether it is mayo, olive oil, tomato sauce or jam on your morning toast, we're all guilty of adding sauces, oils and spreads to food to boost the flavour.

However, you can literally be adding in hundreds of extra calories a day when you pour or spread freely.


Speaking on Sunrise, Susie said: "Be mindful that when it comes to high fat additions, like mayonnaise and olive oil, you can really overdo the calories."

When it comes to sauces and spreads, Susie urges slimmer to stick to a 20 cent piece portion size.

Cheese falls into the chocolate and cake category - its extremely easy to keep slicing and eating.

Susie recommends keeping your cheese portions much more tightly controlled by grating or investing in a cheese shaver which will cut your cheese portions significantly.

She says doing so you'll save between 50 to 80 calories per serve of cheese.

Despite the vegan diet becoming more and more popular, many of us Brits still love to gorge on large amounts of meat - and its customary to eat everything on our plates.


Susie recommends weighing the amount protein you are eating and not going over the required amount.

For women, the perfect size to aim for is a small hand or palm-sized portion, while for men the ideal size is roughly the size of a small hand.

Bread slices these days tend to be so large they barely fit in the toaster.

Simply reverting to an old school sandwich loaf will slash your calorie and carbohydrate significantly.

As bread tends to be a daily staple, these calories you are not having will really add up on the scales.

Your morning coffee may have the power to get you out of bed in the morning - but it could also be making it more difficult for you to lose weight.

NHS tips for weight loss success

The NHS has shared their three key tips for weight loss success:

Lots of useat and drink more than we realise and do little physical activity. The result is often weight gain.

To lose weight, we need to change our current habits. Thismeans eating less even when eating ahealthy, balanced diet and getting more active.

Fad dietsand exercise regimes that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can't be maintained.

Once you stop the regime, you're likely to return to old habits and regain weight.


In fact, Susie says every increase in cup size adds around 50 calories and more if you have sugar.

Simply swapping from a regular or large to a small coffee will save you plenty of calories.

Youll save even more if you ditch the add-ons, including sugar and chocolate, too.

Despite this, a recent study found acup of coffee can help the body burn calories faster.

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Scientists say it stimulates "brown fat", which burns calories to generate body heat.

Professor Michael Symonds, from the University of Nottingham, said theirs is the first study to show how coffee can affect brown fat in humans.

He said the breakthrough could help tackle the obesity crisis.

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The 5 food tweaks to slash hundreds of calories from your diet and boost weight loss - The Sun

Amino Acids May Be the Key to the Connection Between Meat and Heart Disease – The Beet

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

First, let's get to the good news. Want to be healthier? Eat more onions, garlic, shallots, chives, and leeks. It turns out they are a great source of the type of amino acids we need to be healthy, without overwhelming our bodies with too much of a good thing. Meat, as it turns out, along with fish, eggs, and poultry, also has these types of sulfur amino acids or SAAs. But when we eat them from that source, we drown our bodies in SAAs, which can lead to all sorts of problems, from weight gain to insulin resistance, higher cholesterol, blood sugar and more. Not pretty.

Okay, but here I get way ahead of myself. The story is based on science, and the science is from a new study that tells us everything we need to know about amino acids, and perhaps more. How much protein you eat is part of the problem but where that protein comes from is the main event. The study is brand new, even if its conclusions sound familiar, and echo the science we've been learning about plant-based diets and heart disease.

We know that red meat consumption is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and premature death from all causes. But the questionis why? The theories range from theeffect that meat has on your microbiome to its artery-clogging fat content,or even the chemicals added to our food before it hits the table. One thing is agreed on: People who eat diets high in meat tend to be heavier andlive shorter lives.

Now a newstudypurports to hint at the reason this is true. The authors found thateating a diet high inanimal protein increases the risk of developing a wide range of chronic diseases (again nothing new here) andthen recommended eating plant-basedprotein dietto reduce these risks. The reason is the type of amino acids in the meat, which are called sulfur amino acids, or SAAs, which in abundance appear to increase the risk of heart disease. People who eat meat are getting two and a half times the recommended amount, or the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), of SAAs in their diet, which may be contributing to risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases.

The study is the first to investigate what affect diets high in sulfur amino acids have on overallhealth. SAAs are found in many foods, but are highest in eggs, fish, red meat and chicken. When consumed in moderate or recommended amounts, sulfur amino acidsplay a crucial rolein our bodies. They help metabolism, protect cells from damage, build proteins, regulate hormones and neurotransmitters, and help keep the liver functioning well.

But when there are too many SAAs, it can lead to heart disease, being overweight, higher levels of insulin and a shorter lifespan. The authors recommend that the best way to regulate SAAs is to get them from plant-based sources, which offer lower doses of SAAs and are linked to healthier, longer lifespan and lower risks of disease.

Eating too many foods high in sulfur amino acids can have many negative health effects. They arelinked to a higher riskofheart disease, stroke, diabetes, and non-alcohol fatty liver disease. And you're at even greater risk if you eat high levels of two particular types of sulfur amino acids,cysteineandmethionine, both of which are found in high-protein foods. They are considered the most toxic amino acids, even though thebody needs both.

The finding that low sulfur amino acid diets are typically more heavily reliant on plant-derived proteins suggests that sulfur amino acid reduction may, be partly responsible for health benefits associated with a plant-based diet and offera practical solutionfor reducing sulfur amino acid inthe diet.

Sulfur-rich foods include "allium vegetables" which include garlic, onions, leeks scallions, chives, and shallots. It also is abundant in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, radishes, and watercress as well as kale.

According to the research, animal studies suggest diets restricted in sulfur amino acids are associated with many health benefits including increased longevity and reductions in age-related diseases.

Rats fed a diet low in amino acid, and withmethionineas the sole sulfur amino acid source -- meaning closer to the type found in plant-based diets -- increased their maximum life span, and were healthier during their lifetime. This type of diet (where the SAAs come from plants) have been shown to delay aging in a number of animal and cell-based models.

Further, low SAA diets have been associated with reductions in body weight, adipose tissue (body fat)and oxidative stress (which leads to aging), higher metabolism, and positive changes in the levels of blood biomarkers, including insulin, glucose, leptin, and more. There is little dataon the health benefits of lowSAA diets in humans. The authors wrote that theirgoal was to investigate whether diets low inSAAs were associated with reducedrisk for cardiometabolic diseases.

Protein and Heart Health: A Little Protein Goes a Long Way

In general, it is recommended that adults only consume15mg of sulfur amino acids per kilogram of body weighta day. But evidence shows that mostolder adultshave diets thatexceed these recommendations.

The researchers looked at a sample size of 11,576 adults as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) over a period of six years. Researchers measured participants' diets, as well as cholesterol, insulin, andblood glucose levels, to see how they were affected by eating an abundance of SAAs.

The researchers found that the averagesubject they studied consumed 2.5 times the recommended levels of SAAs. After controlling for variables such as weight, race, and gender, they found that eating adiethigh in SAAs, especially cysteine and methionine, was associated with higher cholesterol, insulin resistance and elevatedblood glucoseall of which contributetocardiometabolic diseasessuch as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and liver disease.

The health risks were not solely about overall protein consumption, but the amount and proportion ofSAAseaten. Becauseanimal productscontain higher levels of SAAs, the researchers recommend that a diet of plant-based proteinsis the best way to reduce SAA consumption to healthier levels.

The authors' conclusion: Lower intake of sulfur amino acids may, in part, explain some of theobserved health benefitsof plant-based diets. Swapping animal-basedproteinsources for plant-based ones appears to be a good health move.

Nutrition is a major component of reducing overall risks ofchronic disease and premature death. Sulfur amino acids are more prevalent in meat than vegetables, so switching toplant-based protein sourceslike whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, and eating recommended daily intakes ofsulfuramino acids, could make it less likely that you will develop heart disease or diabetes in future, the authors concluded.

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Amino Acids May Be the Key to the Connection Between Meat and Heart Disease - The Beet

Keto diet is being used by government to treat veterans’ diabetes – Insider – INSIDER

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Diabetes is one of the largest, most expensive problems facing America's veterans, and the US government is staking its hopes for a solution on an unconventional treatment: the popular keto diet.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) has launched a partnership with a digital therapeutics startup Virta Health to treat diabetic veterans using the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, at no cost to the vets or the VA.

The partnership, first announced in May 2019, has enrolled 400 veterans into Virta's program, which includes personalized nutrition plans and online access to health coaches and physicians.

So far, the results have been promising, according to the company's data. A pilot program with the VA found that half of the participating veterans achieved blood sugar levels below the threshold for diabetes after three months on Virta's program. And the treatment successfully reduced medications, including insulin, by 53% across the entire group.

But some experts have raised concerns that there may be unforeseen health consequences following this kind of treatment, and that the VA's buy-in will lend legitimacy to what is still an experimental treatment.

Prior to working with the VA, Virta had been studying keto as a treatment for diabetes for over two years.

Diabetes is an inability to balance blood sugar.Reducing carbs manages the problem at the source by preventing blood sugar from rising in the first place, according to Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine, a US Air Force Reservist, and a marathon runner who has published several studies on keto and diabetes.

Hollis Johnson/INSIDER "The most impactful thing on your blood glucose is the amount of carbs in your diet. The low-carb diet is effective because it lowers the insulin load," Cucuzzella, whois not affiliated with Virta, told Insider in an interview. "Insulin is the master switch."

Medications like insulin can mitigate diabetes symptoms by managing blood sugar levels. But keto can help patients reduce medications, said Dr. Sarah Hallberg, medical director for Virta.

Eating carbohydrates causes blood sugar to rise, but eating fats does not. It means diabetic patients can get their daily calories without needing to use insulin to balance out spiking blood sugar levels.

"Standard treatment puts people on a one-way street of progression for diabetes, with temporary pharmaceutical treatment that will have to be added on to," Hallberg told Insider. "We're able to give people another lane going the other way by bringing blood sugar into non-diabetic range while reducing and eliminating medication."

That doesn't mean keto can cure diabetes.

Virta refers to its treatment as a "reversal" of diabetes. In layman's terms, this means the disease is in remission. The treatment only works as long as the low-carb diet is maintained. As soon as carbs are re-introduced, the same problems with blood sugar and insulin emerge.

A keto diet is any eating plan that pushes the body into a state of ketosis when it begins producing substances called ketones, explained Dr. Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist and founder of a ketone-detecting device. (Weiss previously served as a medical advisor for Virta.)

"Keto" typically refers to eating plans in which a majority of daily calories come from fat, along with some protein and minimal carbs.People with diabetes could cut their carb intake to as low as 30 grams a day and still be healthy.

But the key to medical keto is going beyond counting macronutrients. Instead, it's important to focus onwhole-food sources of fats, cutting carbs without completely eliminating nutrient-rich foods like veggies.

Vietnam war veterans among other guests listen to U.S. President Barack Obama at the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, U.S., May 30, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

It's not clear what long-term health effects the keto diet might have.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group of medical experts who advocate a plant-based diet, sent a letter to VA officials asking them to reconsider the partnership, and keto treatment, based on evidence that a high-fat, low-carb diet could potentially increase risks of diabetes, particularly diets high in saturated fat.

Skeptics have also noted that most of the data showing keto can treat diabetes is based on studies led and funded by Virta itself. There is barely any hard data on keto's health effects beyond two years on the diet.

Hallberg acknowledged the lack of long-term evidence, but said the same problem has plagued nearly every other type of therapeutic diet (with the exception of the Mediterranean diet).

"There's needs to be a hard outcome, long-term trial looking at a variety of eating patterns, no question," she said.

But in the meantime, diabetes continues to be diagnosed in record numbers, particularly among military veterans.

"Do we have 10-20 years to wait for that?We're in the midst of an unprecedented diabetes and obesity epidemic," she said. "We have to do something now."

Read more:

Nutrition experts react to the keto diet's new ranking as one of the worst diets of 2020

There's a Mediterranean version of the keto diet that restricts red meat and trades butter for olive oil

The keto diet makes mice better at fighting the flu another clue about how the high-fat, low-carb plan changes the body

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Keto diet is being used by government to treat veterans' diabetes - Insider - INSIDER

Olivia Culpo sizzles in tiny bikini on vacation: ‘Let’s go to the beach!’ – Home – WSFX

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Olivia Culpo is enjoying some R&R.

The 27-year-old took to Instagram on Monday toflaunt her toned physique while on vacation.

For the series of photos, Culpo rocked a tiny bikini from Versace paired with a matchingscrunchie, black maxi skirtand open-toe mules.


Lets go to the beach!@versace@fwrd, she captioned the post.

In November, it was announced that the model will return for her third year in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, set to hit stands this year.

Culpo opened up to Fox News back in February 2019about how she prepared forthe big photoshoots, including her really strict diet.


No sugar. No carbs. No alcohol,she said. Basically, all protein and fiber, and the only kinds of carbs Ill have is sweet potato or greens or fruit.

Despite watching what she ate ahead of photoshoots, Culpo said she didntstrictly follow diets in her normal day-to-day life.

I really dont believe in dieting, she said.I notice that when I have a shoot coming up or when Im being really diligent about my diet, I can pretty much do it up until the day or two before, and then I start to go crazyand basically self-sabotage myself. As soon as I tell myself I cant have sweets, then I really want sweets.


Culpo who said she loved indulging in ice cream, pizza and/or alcohol also creditedher fitness routine with allowing her to splurge whenever she wanted.

I love working out, she said.I feel like if I didnt work out as much as I did, I probably wouldnt be able to get away with eating the way that I eat, so for me, it works out well.

Original post:
Olivia Culpo sizzles in tiny bikini on vacation: 'Let's go to the beach!' - Home - WSFX

Research shows two thirds of adults don’t have a high fibre diet – Health Europa

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

The research, conducted by the bakery company, Hovis, suggests that the UK is missing out on the full benefits a high fibre diet can bring to gut and heart health, despite high-profile campaigns to urge greater consumption.

2,064 adults in the UK were asked about their fibre intake and the results show people are generally confused about fibre intake.

The research shows that the majority (89%) of UK adults say they recognise that eating fibre each day is important, with just 2% saying it doesnt matter to them. The research reveals that 79% correctly identify that fibre helps digestive health, with more than a third (38%) also recognising that it can help to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.

However, despite high profile campaigns to get people to boost their fibre intake, just 38% of UK adults say they ensure their diet is high in fibre, regardless of the wealth of scientific evidence pointing to the health benefits that fibre brings.

Meanwhile, when asked how much fibre they consumed each day, one-in-four UK adults (24%) say they simply dont know.

The research also reveals confusion about how much fibre we need, with half of those surveyed saying they dont know how much fibre the average adult should eat each day, and just 14% correctly identifying that the daily target is 30g.

When asked to identify the food types that are best for delivering fibre, most UK adults could correctly identify those that are a good source. The best-known food type is bread, with four fifths of UK adults (81%) thinking that wholemeal bread is a good source of fibre.

Jeremy Gibson, Marketing Director at Hovis commented: There have been numerous studies that have shown the benefits of eating more fibre, yet people are still failing to eat enough of it. The rise of lower-carb diets and reduction of bread consumption are another signal that consumers could be avoiding bread and missing out on the amazing fibre benefits they bring.

At Hovis we are determined to play our part in helping reverse this trend and getting the UK into better shape, one meal at a time. We are working with a registered dietitian, Sarah Almond Bushell, and other experts, to provide information, recipes and advice to help the UK improve its diet.

Its not difficult to boost fibre intake, anyone can do it by eating more wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice and fruits and vegetables. Consuming enough fibre can help with digestive health, as well as maintaining normal cholesterol levels and it can taste great too.

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Research shows two thirds of adults don't have a high fibre diet - Health Europa

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