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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How To Make Grilled Meats Better And Healthier - A Beer Marinade

Rather than simply enjoying a good beer alongside the BBQ this summer, we should be using our cans to marinade the meat, scientists have said.
As well as adding some extra taste, basting the meat in beer before it hits the grill reduces the chance of potentially cancerous chemicals being formed during cooking, researchers suggest. They say pilsner and black beer are most effective, halving the amount of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been linked to colorectal cancer.

The study
To carry out the study, researchers marinated pork for four hours (by which time chemical reactions on the surface of the meat had stopped) in three different types of beer - lager, non-alcoholic lager and a black beer.
The meat was then cooked to well done on a charcoal grill.
The results found that all of the beers reduced the levels of eight types of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), a chemical linked with cancer which forms when meat is cooked at very high temperatures.
The black beer proved most effective, cutting the levels by more than half, the researchers said. The non-alcoholic beer was the least effective, although it did still reduce levels.

Bottom line
Thus, the intake of beer marinated meat can be a suitable mitigation strategy,” the team concluded, suggesting that the antioxidants in the beer make the surface of the meat resistant to PAHs.

Past studies have shown an association between consumption of grilled meats and a high incidence of colorectal cancer.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are substances that can form when meats are cooked at very high temperatures, like on a backyard grill. And high levels of PAHs, which are also in cigarette smoke and car exhaust, are associated with cancers in laboratory animals, although it's uncertain if that's true for people. Nevertheless, the European Union Commission Regulation has established the most suitable indicators for the occurrence and carcinogenic potency of PAHs in food and attributed maximum levels for these compounds in foods. Beer, wine or tea marinades can reduce the levels of some potential carcinogens in cooked meat, but little was known about how different beer marinades affect PAH levels, until now. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Here is a healthy, delicious, low-calorie recipe for your BBQ!

Beer & BBQ-Marinated Grilled Chicken Wings 

Time: prep: 25 min - total: 1 hr 5 min  /  Makes: 32 servings

  • 1 bottle  (18 oz.) BULL'S-EYE Original Barbecue Sauce, divided
  • 1 bottle  (12 oz.) dark beer
  •  1/4 cup bottle olive oil
  •  2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 Tbsp. minced garlic 
  •  1-1/2 tsp. onion powder 
  • 5 lb. chicken wings split at joints, tips removed
MIX 1 cup barbecue sauce with next 5 ingredients until blended; pour over chicken in large bowl; toss to evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate.
HEAT grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.
GRILL chicken 20 min. or until done, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining barbecue sauce for the last 10 min. Garnish with 1 sliced green onion just before serving.

Nutrition facts per serving: kcal 120; total fat 7g; saturated fat 2g; cholesterol 25mg; sodium 150mg; carbs 5g; fiber 0g; sugars 4g; protein 8g; iron 2%DV.

Sources: http://phys.org/news/2014, http://www.science20.com/, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/, http://www.independent.co.uk/, http://www.kraftrecipes.com/

Monday, April 21, 2014

Stop sipping coffee! Gulp it down to best savour the flavour - study found

Coffee lovers who want to get the best flavour from their favourite brew should gulp the drink down rather than sip it.

Scientists say taking big slurps of a coffee releases much more aroma compared to merely drinking it slowly. They said: ‘The findings could be useful to understand the factors which contribute to attract consumers to the pleasant aroma of coffee.’
However, the advice goes against that for other drinks, such as wine, where people are advised to take small amounts in their mouth to get the maximum flavour and aroma.

The study
The study looked at ‘sip volume’ when drinking coffee and found larger sips have a ‘higher aroma release’.

It also considered different sipping amounts and the impact they had on the smell of coffee. It was found that different coffee brewing techniques appeared to affect aroma release and that the bigger the sip taken, the more fragrance was released.

The researchers, from the University of Naples, said it was well known that smell and taste are related and that one can have a significant impact on the other. They said the varying levels of aroma from different sized sips or gulps could be explained by the amount of saliva in drinkers’ mouths.

The researchers tested four different types of coffee brews - American, Neopolitan, moka and espresso. Espresso coffee - the one type of coffee usually sipped - was identified as giving off the most aroma when bigger rather than smaller sips were taken.

The findings of the study have been published in the latest edition of the journal 'Food Research International'.

So, while gulping down your coffee, read also how many health benefits this super-beverage can give its lovers: Health Benefits of Coffe

Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/, http://www.worldcoffeepress.com/, http://www.business-standard.com/

Friday, April 18, 2014

Green tomatoes may help build bigger, stronger muscles

Want to grow bigger, stronger muscles? Eat green tomatoes!
Natural compound from green tomatoes stimulates muscle growth, improves muscle strength and endurance and protects against muscle wasting, research reveals.

Using a screening method, University of Iowa scientists discovered that tomatidine, a compound from green tomatoes, is potent for building muscle and protecting against muscle atrophy.
Muscle atrophy, or wasting, is caused by ageing and a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, heart failure, and orthopedic injuries, to name a few. It makes people weak and fatigued, impairs physical activity and quality of life, and predisposes people to falls and fractures.
"Muscle atrophy causes many problems for people, their families, and the health care system in general. Exercise certainly helps, but it is not enough and not very possible for many people who are ill or injured," said Christopher Adams, an associate professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics.

The study
In the study -published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry-, Adams searched for a small molecule compound that might be used to treat muscle atrophy. He zeroed in on tomatidine using a systems biology tool called the Connectivity Map.
Adams discovered that tomatidine generates changes in gene expression that are essentially opposite to the changes that occur in muscle cells when people are affected by muscle atrophy.
After identifying tomatidine, Adams and his team tested its effects on skeletal muscle. They first discovered that tomatidine stimulates growth of cultured muscle cells from humans.
"That result was important because we are looking for something that can help people," said Adams.

Their next step was to add tomatidine to the diet of mice.
They found that healthy mice supplemented with tomatidine grew bigger muscles, became stronger and could exercise longer.
And, most importantly, they found that tomatidine prevented and treated muscle atrophy.

"Interestingly, although mice fed tomatidine had larger muscles, their overall body weight did not change due to a corresponding loss of fat, suggesting that the compound may also have potential for treating obesity," Adams noted.

Bottom line
"Green tomatoes are safe to eat in moderation. But we still do not know how many green tomatoes a person would need to eat to get a dose of tomatidine similar to what we gave the mice. We are working hard to answer this," Adam explained.

 Sources: http://now.uiowa.edu/, http://www.redorbit.com/, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/, http://www.thehindu.com/

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Eating Less May Make You Live Longer

Australian scientists have claimed that eating sporadically, like animals in the wild, could make people healthier and live longer.

Scientists know an extreme diet does not appeal to many people but say their discovery could lead to ways of mimicking its effects and pave the way for an "anti-ageing pill".

Evolutionary biologist Dr Margo Adler, who led the research, said that cutting back on food leads to increased rates of "cellular recycling" and repair mechanisms in the body.
Dr Adler, of the University of New South Wales in Australia, believes this evolved to help animals continue to reproduce when food is scarce. Their bodies adapt by recycling and reusing nutrients stored in the cells.

She said: "This is the most intriguing aspect from a human health standpoint. Although extended lifespan may simply be a side effect of dietary restriction, a better understanding of these cellular recycling mechanisms that drive the effect may hold the promise of longer, healthier lives for humans."

Low nutrient diet restores cells
Researchers have indentified pathways that respond to nutrients, and particularly protein, by dialling up cell growth rate and reproduction, and turning down some important cellular recycling processes.
"One of them is called autophagy, which is literally means self-eating. What they do is they allow the animal to recycle nutrients that are stored within its own cells," Dr Adler said.
"And so an animal that's dietarily restricted might increase its rates of cellular recycling mechanisms so that it can get more of its own stored nutrients, so it needs fewer nutrients from the environment."

However, she says the diet may allow the body to reproduce more in the short-term.
"But the benefit is that these cellular recycling mechanisms actually kind of clean up the cells and they reduce rates of cancer and reduce rates of cellular deterioration and so animals live longer and they have lower rates of cancer when they have higher rates of cellular recycling processes," she said.

Bottom line
Dr Adler says while the development of the drugs for human use is still a fair way off, further study of cellular recycling mechanisms may help find interventions for humans.
"The best suggestion is have a fairly low-protein diet, do exercise and you're probably doing well," she said.

In 2012, a study found that a low calorie diet can slow down ageing and ward off diabetes, cancer and dementia. Other studies have pointed to the need to cut food intake by about 40% to live 20 to 30% longer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweet News: Dark Chocolate May Prevent Obesity And Diabetes

If you’re going to munch on chocolate, choose dark chocolate. It’s something that has gained popularity as growing research points out the various health benefits of eating dark chocolate in moderation.

Antioxidants and flavonoids make it so good
Studies have shown that dark chocolate, which is rich in flavanols — a type of healthy antioxidant — can improve your cardiovascular system. Chocolate is also filled with other types of antioxidants and flavonoids, the latter of which are found in various fruits and vegetables. Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid in cocoa, and have been shown to improve vascular health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, as well as boosting the clotting properties of blood platelets.

Not all chocolate is created equal

In fact, that strong bitter taste in really dark chocolate comes from flavanols. That’s why processed chocolate — which goes through plenty of steps to reduce that bitter taste — is sweeter and contains far less flavanols than pure cocoa.

How dark chocolate can help in weight loss?
Andrew P Neilson of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University led a mouse study where the researchers placed lab mice on a high fat diet rich in flavanols.
Lab mice were divided into various groups and given specific diets over a limited period of time. According to a result published in American Chemical Society’s “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry”, it was demonstrated that flavanols known as Oligomeric Procyanidins (PCs) seemed to have a protective effect on health. Mice consuming a diet rich in PCs were able to maintain their weight and blood sugar low, even when the overall substance of their diet was high in fat.  

Oligomeric PCs appear to own the greatest antiobesity and antidiabetic bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa. It promotes heart health, lowers blood sugar, and decreases body fat.

Oligomeric PCs helped in regulating blood glucose levels and hence, prove useful in treating diabetes. In the study, the mice eating a OPCs rich diet had the lowest fat mass and lower body weight at the conclusion of the study. Besides, they were least likely to develop impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance, all of this despite eating a high fatty diet.

Bottom line
Oligomeric PCs appear to possess the greatest antiobesity and antidiabetic bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa, particularly at the low doses employed for the present study,” the researchers state. So before reaching for that bag of processed candy chocolate on the shelf, choose dark chocolate — the higher percentage of dark chocolate, the better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Junk food makes you lazy, not just fat, study shows

Regularly chowing down into the succulent, high saturated fat foods — often main culprits of heart disease — can affect our physical and mental health more than previously thought. According to a recent study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, eating junk food, not being overweight, makes people lethargic and fat.

“Overweight people often get stigmatized as lazy and lacking discipline,” said Aaron Blaisdell, leader of the study, and professor of psychology in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) College of Letters and Science, and a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, in a news release. Blaisdell and life scientists believe that the commonly portrayed idea in the media that people become fat because they are lazy, is false. High-fat diets have been known to cause metabolic and cognitive effects, often attributed to the diet’s high content of fat when compared to unrefined low-fat diets. However, little is known about the impact of refined versus unrefined food on cognition.

The study
Two groups of female rats were fed different diets by researchers at the University of Los Angeles for a six-month period. One group ate unprocessed foods such as corn and fish meal while the other ate a diet aimed to mimic junk food; high in sugar, and lower in nutrients.
While understandably the group eating the ‘junk food’ diet gained more weight than the other, they also suffered from fatigue and became more sedentary and less motivated- ie: more lazy. In fact, those rats fed junk food took twice as many, and longer breaks during tasks than the rats eating a healthy diet, even tasks which generated rewards.

What is even more concerning is that switching these rats back onto a nutritious diet at the end of six months for nine days didn’t seem to reverse their weight gain or their ‘learnt’ laziness.

Bottom line
This could suggest that while an occasional binge of bad food – say on holiday, will not have too much of a negative effect if you generally eat a good diet and lead a healthy lifestyle,
But those who eat a poor diet over the long term may actually become lazy and fatigued, as well as gaining weight and suffering the health consequences associated with being overweight.
The research shows that switching to a healthy diet in the short term, for example a fad or pre-holiday diet, is unlikely to be sufficient to reverse any of the side effects of a diet high in junk food.
Blaisdell said “We interpret our results as suggesting that the idea commonly portrayed in the media that people become fat because they are lazy is wrong. Our data suggest that diet-induced obesity is a cause, rather than an effect, of laziness. Either the highly processed diet causes fatigue or the diet causes obesity, which causes fatigue.”

With over 25% of Americans consuming fast food every day, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and close to 50,000 fast food chains across the U.S., doctors must warn their patients about the serious complications of a high-fat diet. The efficient service, low prices, and casual atmosphere can become more than you bargained for when it comes to your health.

Sources: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/, http://www.medicaldaily.com/http://www.sciencedaily.com/, http://www.cbsnews.com/, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Monday, April 14, 2014

Planning to detox your body? Eat a handful of... Pringles!

According to a clinical trial led by University of Cincinnati researchers, a snack food ingredient called olestra has been found to speed up the removal of toxins in the body.
Results are reported in the April edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
The trial demonstrated that olestra—a zero-calorie fat substitute found in low-calorie snack foods such as Pringles—could reduce the levels of serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in people who had been exposed to PCBs.

Persistent Organic Pollutants and you
Every day we unknowingly ingest a multitude of pesticides, industrial pollutants and other unwanted toxic chemicals. These persistent organic pollutants (POPs), make their way into our fat cells and tissues. They build up over our lifetime because our bodies cannot get rid of them. 

These man-made compounds resist decomposition even in our environment, and research findings indicate that they have many more negative effects on us than previously suspected. The primary means of POP transport and human exposure are thought to be through the air, through the food chain (primarily in animal fats) and through our water.
When we eat foods that are contaminated with POPs (some are contaminated more than others, but most foods contain some quantity of POPs), they are digested, then stored in our fat cells—where it becomes difficult to get rid of them for a couple of reasons. First, POPs like fat, so they want to stay where the fat is. Second, if they are released from fat cells during weight loss they are reabsorbed into the bloodstream and eventually returned to fat cells in the body. In other words, POPs can get in, but they cannot get out. And since they are always coming in, we’re always going to accumulate more and more of them, which at some point can begin to cause serious problems.
POPs have been widely accepted as being associated with cancers, diabetes, neurological, and reproductive problems in humans and animals. Wikipedia has done a good job of citing sources and studies for those who would like more detailed information about POPs, including the “dirty dozen” listing of the most notorious offenders and related health effects.

Olestra to the rescue
Armed with information about POPs, the important question becomes: how can we rid ourselves of these almost “ungetridable” compounds? One simple answer: Fat-Free Pringles! Pringles, while not considered a “health food,” do contain the fake fat olestra, which has been found to stimulate the excretion of toxins from the body.
Twenty-eight residents Anniston, Ala., who had known high levels of PCBs participated in the yearlong study. Half of the participants consumed 12 Pringles a day made with vegetable oil, and the other half consumed 24 Pringles a day made with olestra. The serving sizes varied to control for calorie count. According to the results, the half who ate the olestra chips had a PCB rate of decrease of 8%, an eight-fold increase in the rate of removal prior to the study compared with those who ate the chips with vegetable oil, who had a 1% increase in the rate of removal.

The Olestra Detox Diet

 "Olestra's effect on PCB removal is apparently the result of solubilizing fat-soluble compounds like PCBs in the intestine and the solubilization reduces absorption of these compounds into the body," says Jandacek. The researchers note that fat-soluble pollutants such as PCBs are widespread and known to ascend the food chain, meaning that everyone tested has measurable levels.

Your prescription for reducing the amount of POPs in your body? Take 20 Pringles per day, exercise regularly, reduce your intake of foods containing animal fats and drink plenty of purified water.

Sources: http://medicalxpress.com/, http://www.sciencenewsline.com/, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, http://www.changemagazine.net/