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Connecting With West Africas Plant-Based Past – The New York Times

Posted: December 19, 2021 at 1:47 am

When she moved back to Lagos in 2010 after living and working abroad, Affiong Osuchukwu noticed that a lot of the Nigerian food she cherished had become meat-centric. Although the essence of the dishes hadnt changed, they seemed, to her, to be meatier.

I never recalled a pot of soup as having as much meat and fish as I see today, she said. My running joke is Where is the soup in the soup? Because all I see is animal parts. The soup is not there.

Ms. Osuchukwu runs Plant Food Federation, a website focused on plant-based approaches to Nigerian cuisine, and she is one of many cooks in West Africa and the diaspora navigating the experience of being vegan in a culture that holds certain ideas about food close. She is also part of a growing number of people trying to confront a misconception that it is difficult and even limiting to eat a meatless diet using West African ingredients.

On the contrary, Ms. Osuchukwu, who is originally from Calabar, in southern Nigeria, said that there are many ingredients available across the country that can be used to adapt traditional dishes for a plant-based diet, like sliced ugba, a fermented oil bean seed, which steps in for dried and smoked fish in native rice and in abacha, a salad of shredded cassava, red palm oil and fresh herbs.

People always ask me know how I handle being vegan or plant-based in Nigeria because they believe we dont have food diversity here, she said, and I always look at them like, No, actually, we have more food diversity locally, right here, than in many different parts of the world.

West Africans are passionate about adaptations to their dishes. New approaches are questioned, and traditional ways of making beloved recipes are championed. But plant-based ingredients are not just replacing meat in these recipes; they are revealing new paths to familiar flavors.

Removing animal products from recipes like moin moin, steamed bean cakes that may be packed with meat, fish or eggs (sometimes all three), and often served at holiday celebrations; gizdodo, a chicken gizzard and plantain dish; and kontomire stew, a melon seed soup made with cocoyam leaves, hasnt created the kind of culinary gap one might imagine.

Moin moin, for example, does not need the additions of animal products that have become ubiquitous across Lagos. (The Nigerian Cookbook by H.O. Anthonio and M. Isoun, published in 1982, features a plant-based recipe.) Mushrooms can step into many dishes, hitting all of the same notes you would find in a meat-based recipe. Lemongrass, coconut, cassava and seasonal fruit are indigenous ingredients across many parts of West Africa, and they shine in a lemongrass tapioca.

Afia Amoako, who posts on Instagram and TikTok as @thecanadianafrican, said something that resonated with the recipe developer in me: There is no standard recipe for many traditional dishes. There are only standard methods, ways of building and layering flavor, techniques that produce a familiar outcome.

We all know how incredibly protective of their food West African people are, but we sometimes forget that everyone does it differently in their own household, she said.

When Ms. Amoako, a Ghanaian doctoral student living in Toronto, became a vegan about six years ago, her family and friends wondered how this would change her relationship to the food she grew up eating food her parents ate daily.

She says it has helped her connect to a more traditional way of eating.

My mom has been so gracious about helping me veganize a lot of my dishes, Ms. Amoako said. Shell say, OK, lets pull out what we did in the village because that aligns with how youre eating.

Her social media platforms have become robust forums for discussing what it means for everyday Ghanaian dishes to be adapted to suit a plant-based diet.

My work on my platforms is a reminder to fellow Ghanaians that being vegan doesnt mean losing or giving up your culture, Ms. Amoako said.

In fact, she sees a harmony between exploring the continents history and adapting her cuisine.

The ways that we did it before, she said, there was sustainability built into it.

Fatmata Binta, a Fulani chef based in Ghana, has also found that harmony.

She examines the plant-based foundations of Fulani cuisine through her dinner series, Fulani Kitchen, which was inspired by her visits to Fulani settlements throughout Ghana.

She says that most people assume that the cuisine is meat-centric, because of the Fulani peoples connection to cattle. But, she says, cattle is business for Fulani people the meat is mostly sold at markets and is a central source of income for the community.

Though Ms. Binta is not vegan, she notes that plant-based eating aligns with a more traditional way of life.

Our nomadic lifestyle requires that we travel mostly with nonperishable and preserved foods, she said. Grains, legumes, potatoes and sun-dried ingredients make up most of our diet.

During the pandemic, unable to travel easily, she began finding ingredients at Nima Market in Ghana, where Fulani and Hausa traders would sell ingredients, and foraging locally in and around Aburi. I discovered so many local ingredients by foraging, and Im able to work with the ingredients when they are at their best, she said. Its so inspiring and therapeutic.

For some West African chefs in the diaspora, engaging with vegetarian interpretations of their cuisines has prompted other kinds of self-reflection.

Salimatu Amabebe, who uses the pronouns he and they, is the director of Black Feast, a Bay Area dinner series that incorporates the work of Black artists and musicians, and centers the Black experience through a plant-based lens. He also seeks to merge two culinary identities: as a youth in the United States where his Nigerian fathers cooking was central to daily life, and as a professional cook. The dinners are set up on a sliding scale fee, ensuring that they are financially accessible. For Mr. Amabebe, it was a move toward inclusivity something he said he didnt feel within the broader vegan community.

Mr. Amabebe ate a vegan diet for 13 years, but said that identifying as a vegan felt disingenuous. The term vegan, he said, is used to market food to people.

I have a lot of discomfort in using Western food terms to describe Nigerian cuisine, even when the dishes are traditionally that way, he said, adding, The West African food I know is very much about sharing with family and community, rather than mass marketing.

Putting vegan and Nigerian cuisine together feels a little bit like Im like doing something conscious, he said. I would love to find words or phrases that feel true, or easier on my soul.

In fact, all of the people I spoke to said that the word vegan didnt easily apply to West African foodways, and the way they are discussed.

Ms. Osuchukwu often relies on terms like plant-based, plant-based vegan or sometimes even vegetarian. She says she will tell people that shes a vegetarian because they understand vegetarian.

She added: I dont actually like using the word vegan to be honest, regardless of where I am. I feel that plant-based is a better descriptor of our food.

No matter the terms they use to describe their diets, these four West Africans are telling a story with many chapters, and figuring out their place in the world.

I am rooting my diet in the history of cooking in my family, Ms. Amoako said. I am just living how my grandparents and my parents did.

For Mr. Amabebe, it is more about his own journey. Having a background of working in kitchens run by white chefs, where theres a specific style of consistency around fine dining, the process of cooking Nigerian food brings me back home, said Mr. Amabebe, who finds that Nigerian home cooking truly lets the cooks style and ingredients shine.

The food changes you. You cant help but change your mind about how you do things. Those ingredients are talking to you.

Recipes: Moin Moin (Steamed Bean Cakes) | Roasted Mushrooms in Ata Din Din | Coconut-Lemongrass Tapioca With Caramelized Citrus

See more here:
Connecting With West Africas Plant-Based Past - The New York Times

Dietary Inflammation Index and Mental System Diseases | JIR – Dove Medical Press

Posted: December 19, 2021 at 1:46 am

Introduction

In recent decades, the prevalence of mental health disorders has been increasing and is a major public health problem. The current worldwide prevalence of depression is estimated at 350 million.1,2 According to the World Health Organization, more than a quarter of European adults have experienced psychological disorders. Data from the Global Burden of Disease Study highlights the significant contribution of mental health and depression to the global burden of non-communicable diseases, including years of disability.3 Therefore, it is important to determine new preventive measures or strategies to reduce the development of the disease. Multi-factor processes, most likely to involve biological, social, genetic, and environmental factors, contribute to the individuals mental health and well-being.4,5 There is increasing attention to the possible contribution of modifiable lifestyle behaviors (such as habitual dietary intake) to the development of common mental health disorders. In addition, the emerging field of nutritional psychiatry no longer focuses on specific nutrients or foods but turns its attention to the relationship between eating patterns and mental health.6,7

Healthy eating patterns, such as the Norwegian and Mediterranean diets, which are characterized by a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meat, are associated with a lower likelihood of depression.810 On the contrary, it is reported that people with unhealthy or Western-style diets have an increased risk of depression, which is typically characterized by a large consumption of energy-dense, high-fat and high-sugar products, processed and red meat, refined grains, and alcohol. However, meta-analysis and systematic reviews have not yet provided confirmation, partly because of the limited number of studies. Eating patterns and diet quality are also related to well-being, anxiety, and stress, which suggests that the biological mechanisms that underpin the health-related diet go beyond depressive symptoms. Inflammation has been proposed as the basis of the mechanism linking diet to mental health.11,12 There is increasing evidence that depression is related to increased concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Although high heterogeneity was observed in earlier meta-analyses, a recent meta-analysis (MDD) of cytokines and chemokines in major depression confirmed that concentrations of tumor necrosis factor A (TNF-A) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), as well as other cytokines and chemokines, were significantly elevated in MDD patients. At present, relevant studies have reported that there is an association between the inflammatory potential of habitual diet and mental health, but the specific mechanism has not yet reached a consistent conclusion.1315 Lucas et al reported Eating patterns related to circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, and TNF- receptor 2 were determined, and their relationship with depression risk was examined among participants in the Nurses Health Study.1618 They reported a 3040% increase in the risk of depression, depending on the definition, comparing the highest and lowest quintiles (that is, the most pro-inflammatory versus the most anti-inflammatory).19 In recent years, the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) has been developed to characterize an individuals continuous diet from maximum anti-inflammatory to pro-inflammatory. So far, DII has been associated with CRP, IL-6, and TNF-a. To date, only three studies have examined the relationship between DII and depression; all have reported that those with the most pro-inflammatory diets have an increased risk of depression.20

One candidate mechanism for motivation-related disorders in major depression is inflammation. Now, a large amount of literature shows that compared with the control group, some patients with depression have increased expression of inflammatory proteins and genes in peripheral tissues and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and increased peripheral blood acute phase proteins, chemokines, and adhesion molecules. A meta-analysis of these documents has determined that the most reliable inflammatory biomarkers for depression are the increase in peripheral blood inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-6 and the increase in acute phase protein C-reactive protein. Finally, compared with the general population, in the list of common symptoms, non-depressed individuals with primary immune diseases showed a significantly higher incidence of anhedonia symptoms.2123

Patients with depression show a wide range of clinical manifestations, including cognitive and autonomic symptoms. Importantly, these symptoms may differ in their biological causes, and deconstructing depression into specific symptoms may provide valuable insights into underlying neurobiology. A study has conducted a narrative review of the existing literature (21 studies) to clarify whether the link between depression and inflammation has specific symptoms. Overall, there is evidence that there is an association between neurovegetative symptoms of depression and inflammation, independent of cognitive symptoms. This is not the case with cognitive symptoms and inflammation. There is also some evidence that there are gender differences in the direction of the relationship between depression and inflammation.24 At the same time, a meta-analysis of 22 studies showed that CRP and IL-6 inflammatory cytokine levels are significantly positively correlated with the risk of concurrent depression. At the same time, inflammation (measured by CRP or IL-6) can predict future depression. This suggests that there may be a two-way relationship between depression and pro-inflammatory states.25 Another review identified the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of two inflammatory markers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), and depression in the elderly. The results show that there is a cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between CRP and IL-6 and depression in the elderly. In longitudinal studies, inflammation causes depression, rather than inflammation.26

Elevated biomarkers of systemic inflammation have been reported in individuals with cognitive decline; however, most of the literature involves cross-sectional analyses with mixed results. A study investigating the etiology of this association conducted a meta-analysis of prospective studies examining the association between baseline interleukin-6 (IL-6), an established marker of peripheral inflammation, and the risk of cognitive decline at follow-up in adults without dementia. At the same time, mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) has a positive impact on the mental health of different populations. One study examined the effects of MBI on a psychiatric biomarker used to summarize the effects of low-grade inflammation. The results showed that MBI showed a low but significant effect on health outcomes associated with low-grade inflammatory biomarkers.22

The Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension (DASH) is based on seven components, with the four highest intakes considered ideal (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes) and three components, with avoidance or minimum intakes, considered ideal (conversion and red meat, sweet drinks, and sodium). The minimum value of each section is 1, the maximum value is 5, and the middle value is graded proportionately.27,28 The scores for all components are added up to a DASH total score ranging from 5 to 40, with higher scores indicating a healthier diet.29

There is increasing evidence that there is a link between depression and high blood pressure. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as high-energy intake and poor diet, smoking and drinking, and lack of physical exercise, are all risk factors for depression and high blood pressure. In addition, depression and hypertension are related to the imbalance of redox activity signaling and increased immune-inflammatory response.30,31 These diseases may lead to excessive activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, leading to increased secretion of corticotropin-releasing factor, corticotropin, and cortisol. These known risk factors are increased blood pressure and depressive symptoms. Oxidative stress and mild inflammation may also cause autonomic nervous system dysfunction, including increased sympathetic nerve activity and decreased parasympathetic nerve activity, and promote high blood pressure and depression.32 In addition, due to the role of endothelial cells in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, endothelial dysfunction is considered a risk factor for depression. Endothelial dysfunction is also a risk factor for high blood pressure because it may lead to an increase in blood pressure and the vascular endothelium may acquire pro-inflammatory properties.33

The Diet to Stop High Blood Pressure (DASH) diet plan, which includes following a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, as well as low in SFA and red meat, is effective in reducing inflammatory markers and cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure And blood lipids. In addition, it has been reported that there is a negative correlation between adherence to a DASH diet and diabetes or CVD. Since hypertension and depression have many common risk factors, and because of the potential benefits of the DASH diet for diabetes, CVD, and low-grade inflammation, it is determined that the dietary treatment of hypertension may be related to the risk of depression.34,35

Adhering to the DASH diet can not only reduce the risk of CRC and CRA in men and women but also reduce the risk of renal function decline and all-cause mortality.36 There is evidence that the protective properties of the DASH diet may be partly due to its inverse relationship with visceral obesity.37 Some studies have provided evidence that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is associated with reduced levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, and may provide effective means for chronic disease prevention.38 Compared with the conventional diet, adherence to the DASH diet can effectively improve the circulating serum inflammatory biomarkers in adults and promote the formation of a systemic anti-inflammatory environment, at the same time, it can also reduce the risk of aggregate metabolism in elderly women. Consequently, it may be a valuable strategy to inhibit the inflammatory process.39,40 DASH diet can significantly increase GSH and reduce MDA levels. In addition, there is a trend to improve TAC, NO, and f2-is prostaglandins by sticking to the DASH diet.41 Intake of the DASH diet for 8 weeks in NAFLD patients has significant effects on body weight, BMI, ALT, ALP, triglycerides, insulin metabolism markers, inflammation markers, glutathione, and malondialdehyde.42 Whilst, DASH diet in pregnant women with GDM has a beneficial effect on FPG, serum insulin levels, HOMA-IR score, plasma TAC, and total GSH levels.43

The Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010) is based on 11 ingredients, of which six are considered ideal for maximum intake (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes, long-chain omega-3 fats (DHA and EPA), and polyunsaturated fatty acids) and one is considered ideal for moderate intake (alcohol). Four ingredients to avoid or minimize are considered ideal (sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices, red and processed meats, trans fats, and sodium). The minimum value of each section is 0, the maximum value is 10, and the middle value is graded proportionately. The scores for all the components are added to produce an aHEI-2010 overall score, which ranges from 0 to 110, with a higher score indicating a healthier diet.44,45

Prospective studies have shown that, as measured by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), adherence to a healthy eating pattern is associated with a lower risk of recurrence of depressive symptoms in women, but not in men. This favorable association is attributed to the components of AHEI, including vegetables, fruits, and the ratio of PUFA/SFA. In addition, it is reported that according to the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005 measurement, African Americans and white adults living in Baltimore have a higher quality of their diet and fewer symptoms of depression.46,47 Similar findings have been reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, where a higher HEI is associated with a lower risk of depression in adults. The results of the meta-analysis of observational studies also revealed a significant negative correlation between healthy eating patterns (determined by factor analysis) and depression risk.48,49

Several possible mechanisms may explain the negative correlation between AHEI-2010 and depression. This association is caused by the cumulative effect of all the components of AHEI-2010, not by individual nutrients or food groups. The high content of folic acid, B vitamins, and antioxidants in a healthy diet may reduce the damage of oxidative stress to neurons. Due to the relationship between high levels of inflammatory biomarkers and depressive symptoms, the anti-inflammatory properties of the foods contained in AHEI have been shown to reduce the concentration of monoamines. In addition, the high levels of PUFA and n-3 fatty acids present in oily fish and other components of AHEI are other possible mechanisms.5052

The Relative Mediterranean Diet Score (rMED) described by Buckland et al estimates compliance with MD and is based on 9 ideal or bad dietary components. In terms of health, the ideal ingredients include grains, vegetables (excluding potatoes), beans, fruits and nuts, fresh fish, olive oil, and moderate alcohol consumption. In turn, undesirable ingredients include meat and dairy products. Each ingredient (except alcohol) is expressed in grams per 1000 kcal per day and is divided into gender-specific tertiles. Values between 0 and 2 are assigned to each tertile of the ideal component.53,54 For unwanted ingredients, the scores are reversed. For alcohol consumption, if the alcohol consumption is in the range of 525 g/day for women and 1050 g/day for men, 2 points are allocated; otherwise, it is recorded as 0 points. rMED is the sum of all 9 components. The total score ranges from 0 points (non-compliance) to 18 points (complete compliance).55

MD is characterized by high consumption of olive oil, whole grains, and plant food, low in saturated fat and sugar intake, and moderate consumption of fish, dairy products, and red wine, is considered to be one of the best models of a healthy diet because it has several cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammation and oxidative stress, and the beneficial effects of overall mortality rates. In particular, recent evidence suggests that inflammation and oxidative stress may constitute potential pathways for a potential link between diet and depression. This is supported by several studies that report a significant association between the inflammatory potential of diet and depression or depressive symptoms.56,57

Many possible approaches have been proposed to explain the link between diet and depression, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and regulation of neurotransmitter synthesis. Epidemiological studies report a negative correlation between MD compliance and inflammation and oxidative stress marker levels. Specifically, inflammation is the result of an imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. In the brain, pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and TNF-, affect almost all pathways involved in the pathophysiology of depression, such as changes in neurotransmitter expression, neuroendocrine function, and synaptic plasticity.58,59

Certain Mediterranean diet components may affect preclinical vascular changes through potential new mechanisms. These changes may be related to cardiovascular risk by reducing endothelial oxidative stress, reducing inflammation, and enhancing endothelial function.60 Furthermore, greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet, especially its fish composition is related to lower CRP blood concentration.61 MedDiet has similar effects on inflammation in men and women. In addition, the variability of MedDiets anti-inflammatory effects may be partly due to the individuals overall inflammatory state; however, this observation seems to be more specific to men.62 In addition, the understanding of how nutrition affects the prevention and/or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases has also been greatly developed in recent years. The protective effect of the Mediterranean diet (MD) in preventing neurodegenerative diseases has been reported in many studies. The distinctive feature of the Mediterranean diet is the moderate intake of red wine and extra virgin olive oil, both of which are rich in polyphenolic compounds, such as resveratrol, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and its derivatives. In vitro studies have shown They have neuroprotective properties, including anti-inflammatory effects on microglia.63

DII is an inflammatory index developed and verified by a researcher at the University of South Carolina in Columbia to evaluate the inflammatory potential of an individuals diet to understand the inflammatory impact of diet on human health. The purpose of creating the inflammation index is to provide a tool to classify an individuals diet from the most anti-inflammatory to the most pro-inflammatory continuity. The original DII was derived from the results of articles evaluating the effects of specific foods and ingredients on specific inflammatory markers published from 1950 to 2007. Each food and ingredient was assigned a score and multiplied by the actual food intake parameters of the individual to produce a The overall score summarizes a persons diet from the maximum anti-inflammatory to the maximum pro-inflammatory degree. Specific markers are IL-1, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF- and CRP. In 2014, South Carolina researchers improved the original DII scoring for peer-reviewed journals updated from 2007 to 2010; the improved scoring system has been applied to 45 food parameters, including whole foods, nutrition, and other biologically active compounds, from all over the world Eleven food consumption data sets were determined, and the entire diet was considered, not just individual nutrition or food, and a comprehensive database was established to represent various diets of different populations in different regions of the world, which can be applied globally. The DII includes micronutrients, micronutrients, and other common dietary components, such as flavonoids and caffeine. It is a new tool for evaluating the potential of dietary inflammation and can be applied to any population that has collected dietary data. DII can be obtained through 24-hour diet recall interviews or food record data. Food parameters can increase or decrease inflammatory potential through pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers; according to the influence of food parameters on inflammation, significantly increase IL-1, IL-6, TNF- or CRP, or decrease IL-4 or IL-10 Give +1, it is a pro-inflammatory effect; significantly reduce IL-1, IL-6, TNF- or CRP, or increase the -1 given by IL-4 or IL-10, which is an anti-inflammatory effect; if food If the parameter does not produce any significant changes in inflammation markers, 0 is assigned.6466

The steps to establish a personal DII are as follows. The calculation of DII is based on dietary intake data and then linked to a representative database, which provides a reliable mean and standard deviation for 45 food parameters, and calculates the Z score of each persons food parameter, to balance the right bias Influence, the Z value is converted to the central percentile. The calculation of food-specific inflammation score is first weighted according to the research design and research type. These weighted valuesare used to calculate the pro-inflammatory component of each food parameter: a. Divide the number of weighted pro-inflammatory articles by the total number of weighted articles, b. Subtract the anti-inflammatory score from the pro-inflammatory score, and choose 236 as the critical point, that is, the median of the total number of weighted articles of all food parameters, to represent an optimal and robust literature library, all with weighted articles 236 Food parameters are assigned to the full value of the score. Adjust the foods and ingredients with weighted foods <236 as follows: divide the weighted foods by 236; then multiply the scores by the food parameter-specific original inflammatory effect score to obtain the food parameter-specific overall inflammatory effect score. Multiply the central percentile value of each food parameter by its respective overall food parameter specific inflammatory effect score to obtain the food parameter specific DII score. Add up all food parameter-specific DII scores to obtain personal DII scores.67

Chronic low-grade inflammation has complex and multifocal endogenous and exogenous causes, and diet has always been considered an important factor in regulating inflammation. A healthy diet (such as a Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables) is usually associated with lower levels of inflammation, and a Western diet (such as high fat and simple carbohydrates) is associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers, which can cause inflammation in the immune system.68,69 Belongs to the inflammatory diet. Studies have shown that the Western diet can change the intestinal microbial ecosystem and promote the occurrence and development of chronic inflammation. A study on cardiovascular risk showed that complement components C3, CPR, IL-6, TNF-, WBC, and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) are all increased in people with higher DII scores, and NLR is a sign of systemic inflammation. A meta-analysis on the relationship between DII and the risk of prostate cancer showed that a pro-inflammatory diet can lead to increased cell proliferation, inflammation, and oxidative stress, leading to prostate cancer. The possible mechanism is the promotion of foods such as butter, meat, and candy. An inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation and causes insulin resistance, leading to an increase in insulin levels. Insulin levels play a role in the occurrence of prostate cancer by stimulating cell proliferation and apoptosis.70,71 A study in the United States showed that adherence to a pro-inflammatory diet including cholesterol and saturated fat has independent positive correlations with inflammation markers of white blood cells, IL-6, and homocysteine, and intake of high sugar, saturated fat, and other pro-inflammatory foods It promotes inflammation, which may increase the risk of various chronic diseases. On the other hand, the intake of the Mediterranean diet (including whole grains, fish, fruits and green vegetables, olive oil, etc.) is associated with lower levels of inflammation and is an anti-inflammatory diet. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with lower CRP, platelets, and WBC has anti-inflammatory effects and has a protective effect on cardiovascular diseases.72,73

Mental health disorders are more common in women than in men. According to reports, there are gender differences in depression and anxiety, including the age of onset and duration of symptoms, social adaptation, and long-term outcome. Current work shows that there are associations between the potential for dietary inflammation and depressive symptoms, anxiety, and mental health, and these associations are particularly evident in female participants. Although some earlier studies have also reported associations between female depression risk, these are female-only cohorts, and the dietary inflammation potential is determined by two different methods (dietary inflammation pattern and DII). The examination of the Nurses Health Research showed that by definition, comparing the highest and lowest quintiles of dietary inflammation patterns (that is, the most pro-inflammatory versus the most anti-inflammatory), the risk of depression increased by 3040%.74,75 The Australian Longitudinal Study of Womens Health (n = 6438) conducted a 12-year follow-up of middle-aged women and found that people with diet in the top quartile of DII had a 20% lower risk of depression than those in the lowest quartile of DII. To date, only two other studies have investigated the relationship between DII scores and the risk of depression in both sexes.76 In a Spanish cohort study of college graduates (n=15,093), male and female participants reported similar increases in depression risk (OR 1.53 and 1.46, respectively). Consistent with our findings are the latest data from the Whitehall II study, which also revealed a sex-specific association between DII and recurrence of depressive symptoms.77 In a longitudinal analysis of middle-aged men and women (average follow-up age of 60 years), women with the highest DII scores (ie, most pro-inflammatory diets) were almost 3 times more likely to develop recurrent depressive symptoms, even after adjustment After a wide range of confounding factors. No association was observed among male study participants. Compared with the Mitchelstown and Whitehall II cohorts (average age of about 60 years), the Spanish cohort (average age of one-fifth of the DII is 3640 years) may at least partly explain this difference in reporting specific gender relations Time. Further research is necessary to unravel the relationship between gender diet and depression.78,79

Several studies have assessed the relationship between diet and the inflammatory potential of overweight or obesity. Higher DII scores indicate a diet that is more conducive to inflammation and are associated with higher BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. A cross-sectional study of the University of Minas Gerais cohort also showed that the prevalence of obesity increased with the DII score. In addition, a longitudinal study of a Mediterranean cohort also showed that higher DII scores were associated with increased annual mean weight change and incidence of overweight and obesity at 10 years of follow-up. Our findings are consistent with these previous studies that higher DII scores are associated with an increased risk of obesity, while lower DII scores are associated with a lower risk of obesity.8082

A large cross-sectional study showed that in individuals with high cardiovascular risk, there is a direct correlation between DII and BMI and abdominal obesity. A recent meta-analysis of 12 prospective studies reported that subjects with the highest DII quartile had higher BMI levels. A meta-analysis of another observational study showed that there is a significant positive correlation between DII and obesity and BMI. On the other hand, some previous studies have shown that DII is negatively correlated with obesity, or has nothing to do with body weight, BMI, fat mass, and abdominal obesity.83 These controversies may be partly due to differences in the study population, metabolic disorders, BMI cut-off values, age, gender, and socioeconomic status, dietary supplements, and the number of foods and nutrients included in the DII calculation. It may also be related to reported deviations that are known to vary with weight status.81,84

DII provides a quantitative assessment of the potential for dietary inflammation. Current research results show that, compared with obese individuals, a normal-weight diet is more pro-inflammatory and manifests as a higher DII score. However, E-DII did not differ significantly among the three study groups. As mentioned earlier, this may be due to differences in total energy intake using FFQ, which are taken into account when scoring E-DII or energy-related reporting deviations.85,86 A follow-up cohort study showed that there is a direct link between DII and annual weight gain and overweight and obesity in normal-weight individuals. There seems to be a two-way relationship between obesity and inflammation. Body fat mass induces inflammation, which can lead to obesity and weight gain. In addition, a positive correlation was observed between the DII score and circulating leptin (as a pro-inflammatory fat-derived peptide), which underscores the potential role of dietary inflammatory features on adipose tissue inflammation. Chronic inflammation is one of the key mechanisms explaining obesity-related complications.87,88

In the field of obesity, BMI is the most common and convenient obesity classification index. The significance of using BMI is far-reaching because it can give an accurate cut-off point to define the number of people with different weights, and then tell us the prevalence of obesity. Obesity is defined as the excessive accumulation of body fat, and this excess fat is usually considered an indicator of poor health, which in turn constitutes a series of risk factors for diseases, including diabetes, ischemic heart disease, hyperlipidemia, Sleep apnea, arthritis, and others.89

Adipose tissue is not only a storage organ for triglycerides, but also studies have shown the role of white adipose tissue as a producer of certain biologically active substances called adipokines.90

In mammals, white adipose tissue (WAT) stores and releases lipids, while brown adipose tissue (BAT) oxidizes lipids to promote thermogenesis. In obese individuals, WAT undergoes profound changes; it enlarges, becomes dysfunctional, and develops into a state of low-grade inflammation.91 Adipose tissue is the source of pro-inflammatory activity, so it is called obesity-related inflammatory activity.92 Withal, adipose tissue itself is an endocrine organ that can secrete a variety of body fluid mediators, such as adipokines, which can induce or reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.93 Some studies have provided evidence that rodent models have demonstrated that fat inflammation pathways play an important role in diet and obesity-related metabolic disorders, and mRNA microarrays and secretion profiles of human adipose tissue and fat cells have identified similar inflammatory pathways in the obesity Inflammation pathway activated by endotoxin.94

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between dietary inflammatory index and age, and aging is also closely related to elevated systemic inflammation markers. It is important to pay attention to how to measure these indicators in the context of dietary intervention. The levels of acute-phase response factor c-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in the blood of the elderly tend to increase during the aging process. In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), chronically elevated protein in the acute phase is a risk indicator of high mortality. The mortality rate of patients with elevated serum CRP over the age of 60 is 2.7 times higher than that of patients below this threshold (0.30 mg/dl).95,96

Chronic inflammation is a persistent, low-level non-specific body inflammation state. Studies have shown that chronic inflammation is related to cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.97 In addition, studies have shown that the occurrence of old age frailty is accompanied by changes in an inflammatory state. Inflammatory factors induce cell senescence through oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and other pathways, causing tissue, organ, and system damage, which greatly increases the risk of debilitating or age-related chronic diseases.98 A large number of studies have proved that diet plays an important regulatory role in chronic inflammation. Different dietary patterns and dietary ingredients will produce different inflammatory effects. Aging is also a contributing factor to inflammation caused by diet. The underlying mechanism remains to be studied, but it can be simply assumed that old age is related to a more unhealthy and unbalanced diet, which may lead to higher DII scores in the elderly population. Human aging is accompanied by changes that may impair food acquisition, digestion, and metabolism. Many conditions, such as disability, acute and chronic diseases, may affect the nutritional status of elderly patients. There is convincing evidence that diet changes with age, which may promote inflammation, which may help increase or maintain obesity, especially abdominal obesity, in most people who are overweight or obese.99101

Inflammation is a key component of the innate immune systems ability to clear infections and repair injured tissues. Inflammation is caused by the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from innate immune cells. In addition to the effects on the periphery, cytokines can also communicate with the brain and cause a series of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral changes collectively referred to as disease behavior.102,103 Of particular relevance to this review is that peripheral inflammation has been shown to induce depression-like behaviors in animal models, including decreased exploratory, novelty, and social behavior, decreased food intake; and sleep disorders. These disease behaviors are considered an adaptive response designed to reduce the spread of infection and promote healing. However, long-term inflammatory signaling, such as when the inflammatory response is maintained by continuous psychosocial stress, may have adverse effects, including the risk of depression and other mental illnesses.104

Research conducted in the past few decades has clarified the mechanism by which peripheral inflammation can enter the brain to affect neural processes related to depression, including neuroplasticity, neurotransmitter systems, and neuroendocrine functions. For example, inflammatory cytokines can alter neuroplasticity by reducing the expression of the brain-derived neuroprotective hormone BDNF. Inflammation can also cause changes in the dopaminergic system, which is related to depression. A single injection of high doses of LPS (5 mg/kg) can cause the degeneration of the dopaminergic system in the brain, especially in the substantia nigra and striatum.105107 In addition, the use of IFN- for chronic treatment in non-human primates leads to a decrease in the synthesis and availability of dopamine in the striatum, which is related to a reduction in sucrose consumption that depends on effort. A large number of experimental studies conducted in rodents have shown that the release of dopamine and the reduction of dopamine receptor binding are closely related to the defects of reward motivation behavior in depression.108

In addition to the effect on dopamine, inflammation can also affect the serotonin system through changes in tryptophan metabolism. Under normal, healthy conditions, approximately 5% of tryptophan is metabolized to serotonin, and 95% of tryptophan is metabolized through the kynurenine pathway. The metabolism of tryptophan through the kynurenine pathway can be converted into neurotoxic 3-hydroxykynurenine (OHK) and quinolinic acid (QUIN) or neuroprotective kynurenine.109,110 The way tryptophan is metabolized depends on the presence of indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). In preclinical models, the use of LPS to activate inflammation increases the activity of IDO, thereby assigning more tryptophan metabolism to the kynurenine pathway instead of serotonin synthesis, ultimately leading to serotonin deficiency. In preclinical models, LPS-induced depressive behavior is mediated by IDO activation. It is worth noting that inflammation and IDO both affect glutamate metabolism, which may also play a role in depression.111

In addition, inflammation has a powerful effect on the neuroendocrine system. Inflammatory cytokines may indirectly up-regulate glucocorticoids in the body by interfering with the functional ability of glucocorticoid receptors, leading to the continuous synthesis of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and the continuous activation of the HPA axis, which have long been associated with the pathogenesis of depression-related. This process can be self-sustaining because long-term elevated glucocorticoids can stimulate the production of neuroinflammation by activating microglia (resident immune cells in the brain).112

Diet affects inflammation, but there are currently few studies on how diet affects inflammation markers. One theory is that a pro-inflammatory diet can increase the levels of inflammatory cytokines by affecting oxidative stress and immune mechanisms. Related studies have shown that macrophages will produce free radicals and release them into tissues after ingesting a pro-inflammatory diet. Free radicals promote cell oxidative stress. Excess free radicals are usually associated with increased inflammation, that is, pro-inflammatory diets can cause inflammation in the blood. The release of sex factors is enhanced, causing inflammation. Research by Barrera et al showed that Western diet can cause postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, and through non-enzymatic glycosylation and glucose-induced NADH: NAD ratio imbalance mechanism to generate reactive oxygen species to increase inflammation and oxidative stress and mediate Expression of inflammatory factors CRP, IL-6, IL-1. Increasingly, the diet is the main medium for the function of the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract.113,114 A German study showed that in mice fed a pro-inflammatory diet, the integrity of the intestinal immune cell barrier can be disturbed or lost, that is, through different mechanisms to cause intestinal cytotoxic effects, inhibit adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, and Causes the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, activates the mouse NLRP3 inflammasome, and mediates the release of IL-1, that is, diet can directly and indirectly (through the intestinal microbiota) provide a rich source of biologically active substances, and produce local and systemic effects on immune function. Influence and mediate the development of inflammatory response. At the same time, the anti-inflammatory diet, the Mediterranean diet, can reduce the release of pro-inflammatory factors by reducing the proportion of Gram-negative bacteria in the intestine, improving the intestinal barrier function, and reducing endotoxins, thereby reducing metabolic endotoxemia, inflammation, and The subsequent occurrence of metabolic diseases.115,116

The DII/E-DII is a summary measure for assessing the inflammatory potential of the diet. The construct validity of the DII and E-DII has been determined against inflammatory biomarkers in several different populations. Overall, these validated results support the notion that diet plays an essential role in modifying inflammation. Diets can be either pro-inflammatory or antiinflammatory, depending on the hormonal responses they generate.117 A pro-inflammatory diet may increase the chronic, persistent activation of the immune system, which leads to low-grade inflammation. Activation of immune cells, especially polymorphonuclear leukocytes, leads to overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting in oxidative stress. It is not well understood how oxidative stress leads to the development of depression. However, the most likely hypothesis is that the brain neuronal cells are vulnerable to oxidative stress due to their requirement of higher oxygen consumption and consequent generation of ROS, as well as a relatively weak antioxidant defense. ROS activates inflammasomes such as NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR and pyrin domain-containing protein 3), a cytoplasmic protein complex that modulates innate immune function by activating caspase-1, which increases pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL1b.118,119 ROS also can regulate inflammatory processes by activation of transcription factors, including nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kb) and activator protein-1 (AP-1) that lead to increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Conversely, these cytokines either: 1) stimulate indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) to convert tryptophan to kynurenine which is transformed into the neurotoxic quinolinic acid; or 2) exert an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which is linked to a reduction in hippocampal volumes, impaired neuronal plasticity, and decreased neurochemical functioning, resulting in DepS.120,121

Another potential mechanism through which diet may influence DepS includes the brain-gut-microbiota axis, a bilateral communication network between the intestine and brain. The intestinal microbiota and diet play an essential role in these gut-brain interactions and be involved in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders, including depression. Depression is associated with an altered gut microbiota composition, richness, and diversity.122,123 First, the neurotransmitter serotonin may have antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. Tryptophan, the main precursor of serotonin, is predominantly produced (>90%) by the gut microbiota. It is evident that the consumption of probiotics, specifically, Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp., affect mood by influencing serotonin levels. Second, in some preclinical studies in mice, consumption of a typical Western diet (high in animal protein and fat, low in fiber) led to a marked decrease in the numbers of total bacteria and a proportional reduction of beneficial Bifidobacterium or Eubacterium species leading to diet-induced dysbiosis. This phenomenon results in increased permeability of the intestinal mucosa, also known as leaky gut, which may increase the immune response and chronic neuroinflammation. This, in turn, stimulates pro-inflammatory cytokine production, which occurs when bacterial components such as lipopolysaccharides from the bacterial cell wall binding to circulating macrophages or monocytes.124126

A growing body of evidence supports the potential use of dietary interventions as adjunctive treatments for mental disorders. This review identified many ways that diet may affect mental health. These include pathways that regulate inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, gut microbiota, tryptophan-kynurenine metabolism, HPA axis, neurogenesis and BDNF, epigenetics, and obesity (Figure 1). However, we do acknowledge that there are many other potential mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of depression. These mechanisms are not mentioned in this article, but all of them can further reduce the risk of depression through dietary interventions, such as dietary effects on leptin, adiponectin, and mitochondrial biosynthesis. Research highlights the potential of restricting pro-inflammatory diets and/or supporting anti-inflammatory diets in reducing the risk of depression. However, more prospective longitudinal studies and improved methods are needed to confirm the current findings.

Figure 1 The possible main mechanism of dietary inflammatory index and depression.

Community Cohort Study on Specialized Nervous System Diseases (No.2017YFC0907701).

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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Dietary Inflammation Index and Mental System Diseases | JIR - Dove Medical Press

How to Reverse Inflammation, Experts Say Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Posted: December 19, 2021 at 1:46 am

Inflammation is part of our immune system that helps fight off an infection, a virus, bad bacteria or heal an injury. However, inflammation can be harmful and chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. WebMD states, "But in some diseases, like arthritis, your body's defense system your immune system triggers inflammation when there are no invaders to fight off. In these autoimmune diseases, your immune system acts as if regular tissues are infected or somehow unusual, causing damage." Eat This, Not That! Health talked to experts who explained why inflammation can be concerning and how to reserve it. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

Dr. Vernon Williams, MD, sports neurologist and founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, CA explains, "The role of inflammation in a number of other common disorders is now recognized. Rather than acute inflammation resulting in swelling, redness and pain, these diseases are associated with long-standing, chronic, low-grade inflammation. There is increasing concern that inflammation-particularly chronic, low-grade inflammation-may predispose people to dramatic and long term consequences after specific triggers of an inflammatory episode. Some people are more likely to develop progressive and long-standing pain and dysfunction (and possibly other chronic medical conditions with inflammatory components) after a "trigger" (such as a fall or motor vehicle accident)."

Dr. Williams says, "Part of the concern is that dietary and nutritional status creates this predisposition. For a number of reasons, our current diets fail to provide us with balanced amounts of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory building blocks such that we have a tremendous overabundance of pro-inflammatory substances in our diet and a paucity of anti-inflammatory substances. Paying attention to principles of an anti-inflammatory diet and nutrition can significantly reduce inflammation without the need to use anti-inflammatory medications (which have the risk of potentially serious side effects). This involves avoiding substances that can promote inflammation. Allergens (food, chemical and environmental) cause and promote inflammation. The Omega-6 family of fatty acids (including corn, peanut and safflower oils), trans-fatty acids from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils also cause inflammation. On the other hand, there are dietary options such as Omega-3 and Omega-9 fatty acids, and antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, CoQ) that reduce and fight inflammation."

"From a practical standpoint, adjustments in food and supplement intake such as cooking with extra virgin olive oil, eating more wild caught cold water fish, reducing carbs, and eating larger varieties of fresh, whole, colorful foods help achieve a more advantageous ratio of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory substances in the diet," Dr. Williams states. "This more balanced ratio prevents and reduces the predisposition to dramatic inflammatory responses after a "trigger" event and reduces ongoing inflammation that is at work in pain and other chronic inflammatory conditions."

Dr. Orrin Troum, MD, rheumatologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA explains, "There are published nutrition and dietary recommendations for patients with rheumatoid arthritis which causes inflammation. Active RA may be associated with poor nutritional intake and anorexia. Trying to overcome these deficiencies are an important part of the management of the disease. Diets rich in fish oil or where additional eicosatetraenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid are added to the diet results in decreased cytokines and arachidonic acid metabolites and subsequent decreased symptoms. Other proposed dietary manipulations have been tried in RA therapy, but remain unproven. Overweight patients should be encouraged to lose weight to prevent excess stress on the weight bearing joints."

According to Dr. Williams, "Inflammation frequently plays a large role in the continuation of pain. As the baby boomer generation ages, we neurologists and other pain specialists are seeing more patients with inflammatory conditions (arthritis, for instance) that affect older populations and as such, more patients who are suffering the chronically painful effects. The typical course of treatment for the pain associated with these conditions is often confined to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and Naprosyn), steroids and other medications that can have severe side effects and risks, especially with prolonged use. But new treatments have emerged that can help control pain without the risks and side effects often associated with other treatment courses.

One powerful tool that has been used in medicine for thousands of years is electricity. While medications to control pain often work to block the pain response in the inflammation cycle, electrical signal therapy (EST) works differently."

Dr. Williams says, "Neuromodulation treatments are those that target the nervous system or brain at specific locations in the body and are part of a growing variety of methods that treat a number of conditions including CRPS, Migraine, Neuropathic Pain and many others. This class of treatments delivers electrical stimulation in an effort to relieve pain and restore function.

Radiofrequency During this safe and effective procedure, an electrical current is produced by a radio wave, which heats an affected area of nerve tissue. This is designed to minimize the pain signals from that specific area. There are a number of conditions that this type of therapy can be successfully used to treat including spine pain from arthritis and more. The degree of pain relief can be different for each individual but for the appropriate diagnosis, the majority of patients treated with a radiofrequency procedure experience relief.

Pulsed Radiofrequency (PRF) A variation of continuous radiofrequency treatment for pain, this procedure can offer the added benefits of pain control without the destruction of surrounding tissue in the treatment area. The benefits of this are especially noted in more complicated cases of neuropathic pain. In contrast to traditional radiofrequency, PRF is delivered in short "bursts" to help reduce risk of tissue damage and to confine the effect to the specific nerve being treated.

Electrostimulation with Nerve Blocks Traditional nerve blocks are procedures designed to interrupt nerve pulses (which send pain signals to the brain) by injecting nerves with a local anesthetic agent. Emerging studies are showing that a brief series of combined electrostimulation and nerve blocks can significantly improve pain associated with nerve damage, outperforming the benefits of medications commonly used for these kinds of problems." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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How to Reverse Inflammation, Experts Say Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

This Popular Weight-Loss Method Might Not Be Effective, Experts Say Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Posted: December 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

Japanese mint weight-loss patches have become a popular option for people who are eager to find a relatively easy way to shed a few pounds. However, while it's understandable why simply slapping a patch on your body would be an attractive option, they may not be effective, according to experts.

Parade recently took a look at the patches that claim to use Japanese mint as an active ingredient, noting that the plant that's also known as mentha canadensis comes from both North America and Asia. According to WebMD, it's actually the oil in the mint that's extracted and used for various conditions, including gas, indigestion, and gallstones, as well as for common colds, fever, and joint pain.

When it comes to using Japanese mint in weight-loss patches, Parade explains that they're "intended to absorb transdermally" which "allows the active ingredients (in this case, the Japanese mint) to go directly into the skin without going through your digestive system."

But the question is: Is it effective as a weight-loss method?

"Mint has some amazing benefits. One of these is its ability to stimulate digestive enzymes and boost metabolism and a faster metabolism can help with weight loss," Clara Lawson, RDN, who works with USA Hemp, tells Eat This, Not That!

However, when it comes to the patches, Lawson explained, "If you aren't bringing any healthy change into your diet and lifestyle, you aren't going to lose weight with these patches."

Lawson also notes that there is "no evidence in regards to their effectiveness and they aren't even regulated by the FDA, so they are not a legitimate weight-loss method."

That's certainly not the only potential problem with these patches. "Ultimately, my issue isn't with the mint; it's with the carrier they use (herbs are bound with a chemical that drives into the skin),"Haylie Pomroy, a top Hollywood nutritionist and founder of the Haylie Pomroy Group, who was one of the experts that spoke to Parade, warned in a statement provided to Eat This, Not That!

"It can be scary because some companies use the same carriers as fentanyl patches. Look at who is making it and where it's manufactured. Ninety-nine percent of these companies aren't disclosing their carrier."

Pomroy adds: "The only benefit we've seen through research with transdermal applications like these are for B vitamin transdermal or sex hormones, like testosterone or estrogen patches. Again, the issue is the carrier with all of these other patches."

To find out more about healthy ways to get the most out of mint, be sure to read 10 Surprising Things Mint Does to Your Body. Then, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter for more of the latest health and food news!

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This Popular Weight-Loss Method Might Not Be Effective, Experts Say Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

Best Smoothie Habits for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Posted: December 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

When it comes to trying to lose weight, most of us are rather poor math students. We mess up the addition and subtraction all the time. We'll try to subtract calories by skipping meals only to become ravenous later on and undercalculate how much food we've eaten to satisfy that gnawing hunger.

That's where smoothies can shine as effective weight-loss tools. Research has found that meal replacement shakes, such as protein and fruit/vegetable smoothies, can help people reduce overall daily calorie consumption if used regularly in place of calorie-dense meals and snacks.

Getting into the smoothie habit works for weight loss if you follow the right approach. We asked dietitians for the best strategies for getting the most benefit from your smoothie habit. After you read through these tips, try out our recipes for the 25 Best-Ever Weight Loss Smoothies.

Don't assume a new smoothie recipe is right for you simply because it's a smoothie. If weight loss is your goal, keep that mission in mind by always following these six rules from Mehak Naeem, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist for The Candida Diet.com.

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"The biggest smoothie mistakes most people make are not adding enough protein and fiber," says registered dietitian nutritionist Elise Harlow, RDN, owner of The Flourished Table. She recommends about 20 grams of protein and at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. "If these nutrients are overlooked, your smoothie can cause a significant increase in your blood sugar and leave you feeling hungry shortly after." Besides protein powder, Greek yogurt is a great high-protein addition to smoothies. Harlow also suggests a fairly uncommon add-in: white cannellini beans for their protein and fiber.

Carrots, squash, and spinach are great to add to smoothies because they are low in calories and full of fiber to keep your hunger satisfied a long time and they contain nutrients that will keep you healthy, says Trista Best, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. She recommends avoiding dairy in smoothies because it promotes mucus production, which can exacerbate common winter illness symptoms.

For weight loss, get into the habit of mixing ingredients into your smoothies that help your body burn more calories during the day, suggests Clara Lawson, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist with usahemp.com. USAHEMP.COM. Try these:

Smoothies that help with weight loss have certain key characteristics: they have fiber, they use colorful produce and they limit the extras, which add calories, says private practice nutritionist Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.

Here's the formula she shares with clients:

Smoothies made at smoothie shops and restaurants are usually enormous, warns Young. Order the small (which is often a good size), skip the fruit juice and add greens and crushed ice to keep the calories in check, says the adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University.

Oats are a whole grain that can be easily added to a smoothie. "Whole grains moderately increase your metabolic rate, and they also improve weight loss by providing you with fiber, which will keep you feeling full for longer between meals to avoid overeating," says nutritionist Lisa Richards, creator of The Candida Diet.

"I always recommend to my clients to consume a cup of blueberries a day; adding them to smoothies makes it convenient," says Sam Maclennan, chief nutritionist for Meal Prep Source. "Blueberries are the most antioxidant-dense berry with each cup containing a total of 13,427 antioxidants. Some studies have found that the mixture of these antioxidants, vitamins and minerals help your body actually regulate fat-burning and the storage of fat."

Maclennan also recommends adding leafy greens to every smoothie because they are very low in calories yet rich in nutrients like vitamins C, A, and K, fiber, iron, magnesium, and potassium. "This mixture has been found to help regulate blood sugars, carry more oxygen to muscles and burn fat," he says.

As long as you are aware of the number of calories they add, including avocado, nut butter or MCT oil to your smoothie may help you lose weight by slowing down digestion and giving you a fuller feeling for longer periods to prevent the overeating that can lead to weight gain, says Nataly Komova, nutritionist and fitness expert for JustCBD.

Adding a few ice cubes to your blender before blending your smoothie increases the volume of the liquid to fill your belly without extra calories by adding air.

"Many of us think we are on track to lose weight just because we're drinking smoothies, which are supposed to be good for us, but in reality, we are not using them correctly," warns Jessica Mason, a clinical nutritionist with Kitchen Habit. By loading up your smoothies with lots of high-calorie ingredients like peanut butter, chocolate, and honey, you'll defeat the purpose of a weight-loss smoothie, she says. And it's easy to do if you don't keep track of the calories of all those add-ins. Keep your additions low-cal, like greens and other vegetables and protein.

For a complete program using smoothies to help you lose weight, check out our book The 7-Day Smoothie Diet: Lose Up to a Pound a Dayand Sip Your Way to a Flat Belly!

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Best Smoothie Habits for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

WVU Medicine promotes benefits of weight loss surgery following release of study showing reduced risk from liver disease – WV News

Posted: December 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

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WVU Medicine promotes benefits of weight loss surgery following release of study showing reduced risk from liver disease - WV News

The Best Soup Combinations for Faster Weight Loss, Says Science Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Posted: December 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

As the weather gets colder, you may find yourself increasingly craving comfort foods. Unfortunately, many hearty winter staples, like rich pasta dishes and cheesy casseroles, are not only high in calories, but are loaded with heaping portions of sodium, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates.

The good news? You can still enjoy plenty of comforting winter meals that won't derail your healthy eating efforts. Read on to discover the delicious soup combinations that can help you satisfy your cravings and lose weight. And for more easy ways to shed those extra pounds, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

Carrots are not only a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and other essential nutrients, but they're also a great addition to your weight loss plan. A 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients found that, among a group of 16 vegetables, carrots ranked fifth best for promoting weight loss in women. What's more, a 2019 meta-analysis published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that consumption of ginger was associated with reduced waist-to-hip ratios and greater weight loss among 473 adults studied, making a carrot-ginger combo a knockout for weight loss.

RELATED: Secret Side Effects of Eating Carrots, Says Science

With just 63 calories and nearly three grams of fiber per cup, butternut squash is a filling addition to any meal plan. According to a 2019 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, eating an additional four grams of fiber a day along with a reduced-calorie diet was associated with significantly more weight loss over a six-month period than reducing calories alone. A 2014 study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice also found that overweight and obese women who added six grams of cumin powder to their daily meals lost weight, lowered their BMI, reduced their waist circumference, and lost fat mass. When you combine the two ingredients together in a soup, you've got a recipe for easy weight loss.

Want to shed some weight while enjoying your favorite Japanese staples? Try making miso soup part of your regular routine. A 2018 study published in Obesity Science and Practice found that adults asked to incorporate three servings of soy protein into their daily diet for 12 months lost both weight and fat mass. Better yet, researchers at Newcastle University found that seaweed fiber can help reduce fat absorption by as much as 75%, making miso soup with seaweed a no-brainer when it comes to losing weight.

RELATED: 14 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Soy

Want a comforting meal that won't derail your weight loss efforts? Try a bowl of white bean and kale soup A 2020 study published in Food Science & Nutrition found that consumption of white bean extract was associated with significantly more weight loss in obese study subjects over a 35-day period versus a placebo group. When combined with the nearly five grams of filling, weight-loss-promoting fiber you'll get from every cup of cooked kale, you've got the perfect soup for weight loss.

For more simple ways to slim down, check out these 5 Soup-Eating Habits That Help With Weight Loss, Says Dietitian, and for the latest healthy eating news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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The Best Soup Combinations for Faster Weight Loss, Says Science Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

The #1 Worst Breakfast Habit For Weight Loss, Says Dietitian Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Posted: December 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

There is no question a healthy breakfast can truly kickstart your day. That first meal is your opportunity to fuel up with foods that will give you energy and keep you satiated.

But, you're not alone if sometimes a leisurely healthy breakfast can feel a bit like a dream rather than reality. Whether you aren't hungry when you wake up, you're too busy to sit down for your meal or you're skipping out in the hopes of losing weight, you could be unknowingly sabotaging your weight loss goals.

We consulted with Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO of NY Nutrition Group, author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan, and member of our medical expert board, who explained that the worst breakfast habit when you're trying to lose weight is skipping the meal altogether.

"When you're working towards weight loss, it may seem intuitive to try to cut back on calories as much as possible," says Moskovitz. "This can include skimping on meals or even skipping them entirely: breakfast is usually the first meal to go."

Even though you may think that taking in fewer calories in the morning is the right way to lose weight, it's not.

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"What you eat, or don't eat, for breakfast can either help or hurt your energy reserve, concentration, digestion, mood, hunger levels, and metabolic function the rest of the day," says Moskovitz.

Not only will it be harder to lose weight if you decide to skip breakfast, but you'll also likely feel tired, hungry, and moodydefinitely not the way to go for your overall health.

So, rather than cutting out breakfast for weight loss, which most likely won't even work, Moskovitz suggests going for a combination of fiber, protein, and fata trio she calls "the winning trifecta for healthy weight loss."

Moskovitz recommends smoothies, yogurt bowls, almond butter toast, or a protein bar for quick and easy breakfast solutions that can actually help you lose weight.

For more breakfast ideas check out The Best Breakfast Combinations for Faster Weight Loss, Say Dietitians.

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The #1 Worst Breakfast Habit For Weight Loss, Says Dietitian Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

The Chases Mark Labbett spills the secrets of his staggering 63kg weight loss, crediting small but important things – 7NEWS.com.au

Posted: December 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

The Chases Mark The Beast Labbett has shared the secrets behind his dramatic weight loss, and the answers are simpler than you think.

Mark has not been shy in sharing his weight loss journey, explaining to Loose Women that as a full-time teacher back in 2003, he weighed over 184kg and was in danger of high blood pressure.

The 56-year-old recently accreted his dramatic weight loss to his Golden Retriever named Baloo, calling him his personal trainer.

On The Pet Show in the UK, The Chases host gushed about his furry friend, explaining how he helped him to fall into a regular exercise routine.

My wife promised me that when we first got him she would take care of everything feeding him, walking him, and so on, he began.

That lasted about two weeks before she decided Actually Mark, look at your belly you need the exercise!

I was walking him around the fields, taking me places I think hes helped a lot, simply because Im doing more activity, Mark explained.

While on Loose Women, Mark explained his diet and the effects of changing his habits.

Im on a high protein diet... so eating an awful lot of meat and lean meat, and as much as I love chips and other carbs, Im having quite a bit less than I used to.

And its sort of became a virtuous cycle, Im not feeling that hungry, so you eat less, so you lose weight, so youre not as hungry, the 200cm tall giant said.

Ive gradually dropped Xs off my size, from 5XL to 4XL and it looks like the next time I go shopping Ill be able to squeeze into XL pants - small things but important things.

The Beast also explains how looking after a toddler during lockdown has contributed to his weight-loss progress.

The principal thing has been running around after a hyperactive three-year-old in lockdown when the nursery was shut.

I found at the end of the evening instead of going to the fridge for late-night snacking, all I could do was collapse on the bed, he said.

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The Chases Mark Labbett spills the secrets of his staggering 63kg weight loss, crediting small but important things - 7NEWS.com.au

Celebrity Chef Shipra Khanna’s book on healthy cooking and weight loss to release soon – Times of India

Posted: December 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

Celebrity Chef Shipra Khanna who is known not just for her scrumptious food, easy-to-follow cook books, engaging cooking shows and an enviable fitness regime, is soon to release her latest book, #HealthUnlimited.Shipra used the lockdown to educate people on being serious about fitness by making healthy and delicious recipes on her YouTube channel, Shipra's Kitchen and on her new show 'Tadka Marke ' on TataSky. #HealthUnlimited is an interesting outcome of her experimentation and research during this period. According to Shipra, "This book is very close to my heart, as I've shared all the recipes I make and consume in my daily routine to stay happy & healthy and now everyone can too!"Shipra who has enviable fitness levels is also a role model for health enthusiasts because of her glowing complexion and youthful looks.

. #HealthUnlimited is slated to be a Bible for those who want to lose weight without compromising on nutrition. Divided into 12 healthy ingredients, the book has healthy recipes around them. These 12 ingredients have supreme importance in Ayurveda and including them in the daily diet can be a game-changer.

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Celebrity Chef Shipra Khanna's book on healthy cooking and weight loss to release soon - Times of India


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